The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government appeared to be caught off-guard as the Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M), one of the eight political parties who either support the federal government or are a part of the ruling coalition, on Wednesday announced to end its alliance with the Imran Khan government.
Speaking on the floor of the National Assembly (NA) during a session, party President Sardar Akhtar Mengal officially announced that his party was separating itself from the government. “We will stay in parliament and will keep talking about issues,” he said.
The two parties had signed a six-point memorandum of understanding (MoU) in August 2018 for an alliance in centre. The six points included recovery of missing persons, implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP), implementation of six per cent quota for Balochistan in the federal government, immediate repatriation of Afghan refugees and the construction of dams in the province to resolve the acute water crisis.
Mengal reminded the House that his party had two agreements with the ruling party, adding that it was the Imran Khan-led party which had come to him for an alliance, not the BNP-M which went to Bani Gala — the personal residence of PM Imran.
“The first agreement was done on August 8, 2018 and signed by Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Jahangir Tareen and Yar Muhammad Rind,” recalled Mengal.
He added that his party had demanded that the missing persons issue be resolved and the National Action Plan be implemented in letter and spirit in the agreement.
“Can someone tell us if there was anything unconstitutional in both these demands? Why were they not implemented?” asked the lawmaker from Balochistan.
He regretted that the ruling party’s mindset was “the same one running in the country since 1948”.
“We waited for two years for the implementation of the agreement; we are ready to [wait] further, but start something,” appealed the nationalist leader.
He added that if the government wishes to take his province along, then they should implement their agreements with BNP-M.
While highlighting his grievances in the assembly, the lawmaker stated that the foundations for the road from Chaman to Karachi were laid in 1973, and it has killed 4,500 in road accidents. He added that instead of giving them a six-lane road, the government gave them only a two-lane road.
The BNP-M leader also claimed that “no one can find justice in this country” and that “justice is being sold”.
While hitting out at the government, he noted that Pakistan Steel Mills were being privatised and thousands were being unemployed.
“The disappointing thing is that no one here is ready to listen to their [the laid off workers’] demands,” said Mengal. He added that if the demands could not be met, then they should at least be noted.
“It has become a tradition here that the last government is held responsible for everything,” said Mengal.
The alliance with the PTI was only in the centre, while the BNP-M’s alliance with the Jamiat Ulemae Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) in Balochistan continues at the provincial level.
The coalition government has been struggling over “broken promises” for quite some time now as the Pakistan Muslim League (PML) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) also do not seem much satisfied with the ruling PTI’s performance.
Wednesday’s development and its consequences could spell trouble for PM Imran who was elected as the leader of the house with a thin majority.