Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) and Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-Mengal) — boycotted a federal cabinet meeting over a controversial bill regarding the revival of the Reko Diq copper and gold mine project in Balochistan.

Prime Minister (PM) Shehbaz Sharif formed a cabinet committee to address the grievances of JUI-F and BNP-M while assuring them that an amendment bill would soon be tabled in the parliament after consulting the two allies.

Both JUI-F and BNP-Mengal were of the view that the recently passed Reko Diq related bill — the Foreign Investment (Promotion and Protection) Bill, 2022, in the Senate, was against the rights of the people of Balochistan and that both parties had not been taken on board during the preparation of the bill.

RELATED STORIES

Chairman BNP Akhtar Mengal has signalled that he may separate his party from the incumbent Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)-led government at the centre.

Discussing his reservations during Geo News programme “Capital Talk”, the BNP-M leader said that the coalition government, instead of taking allies into confidence, takes investors into confidence. “More importance is given to companies instead of the parliament. We will have to think about the basis of our unity,” he warned.

Expressing his displeasure, Mengal said that a CEO of a company is respected more than the allies. He added that his province was “looted” by everyone. “The resources change people’s lives, but it is Balochistan’s misfortune that the way the resources were discovered there, they became a disaster for the people,” he said.

During the programme, another ally of the government Jamaat-e-Islami-Fazl’s (JUI-F) Senator Kamran Murtaza said that the Foreign Investment Bill has been passed forcefully and with deceit which is a threat to Pakistan.