PTI and Sunni Ittehad Council Unite for Governance

News Desk2 months ago

With the assistance of a new partner, the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC), the PTI on Sunday redoubled its efforts to form governments in the Centre, Punjab, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, two days after deciding to sit on the opposition benches and begin a nationwide campaign against alleged election manipulation.

The PTI leadership asked that some leaders, including former chief ministers Pervez Khattak and Mahmood Khan, be removed from the party, which caused the negotiations between the party and parliamentarians to halt in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

But during a press conference on Sunday, PTI officials pledged to establish administrations. Omar Ayub, the party’s nominee for prime minister, said that 30 million votes were cast for PTI-backed candidates even in the absence of the party’s signature “bat” symbol.

PTI had gained “180 seats in the National Assembly, 115 seats in Punjab, 16 in Sindh, 42 in KP, and 4 in Balochistan,” according to Barrister Gohar Khan. “We have one seat in Balochistan; three are due. We were not given a single seat in Sindh. We are due roughly fifty seats in Punjab,” he continued.

To boost its numbers in parliament, the PTI after talks in Islamabad decided in principle to become partners with the Sunni Ittehad Council in the National and Punjab assemblies to claim seats reserved for women and minorities.

The PTI had partnered with the Majlis Wahdat-i-Muslimeen in Punjab and the Central region before to the SIC; the PTI spokesperson confirmed this at a press conference held last week. Jamaat-i-Islami, with whom PTI had chosen to form a comparable alliance in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, appeared to be miffed by this move. In response, the JI stated that it was not considering forming a “limited alliance” in KP with the PTI.

According to a PTI official, the agreement with the MWM appeared to collapse on Sunday as a result of apparent disapproval from the PTI’s KP-based leaders, who had opposed the plan on “sectarian grounds.”

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On record, the PTI did not corroborate this. The MWM and the PTI are longstanding collaborators and allies in Gilgit-Baltistan, and this cooperation will persist, according to PTI spokesman Raoof Hassan.

The MWM leaders were there when SIC leader Hafiz Hamid Raza came in Islamabad at the MWM headquarters to discuss with the PTI over the power-sharing arrangement. Following the meeting, no formal statement was released.

The PTI “independents” for the National Assembly and the Punjab Assembly were instructed to draft two stamp papers each announcing their intention to join the SIC in light of the decisions announced at the meeting. After the party’s formal declaration, these affidavits will be delivered to the ECP.

A PTI official informed Dawn that the MWM had not provided the ECP with a list of reserved candidates prior to the elections, raising concerns about potential issues with the merger as rumors of the split with the MWM persist. As an independent, the MWM contender had filed candidature papers.

Later, PTI backed him and the MWM acknowledged him. The Election Commission of Pakistan may state that the number of candidates for reserved seats may only be raised in the event that the party has already filed a list of candidates for the reserved seat because MWM has not submitted a single nomination for any of the reserved seats. To put it another way, one list can be modified, but a fresh list cannot be filed, according to the source.

They asserted that the choice to side with the SIC was made in order to prevent the Pakistani Election Commission from making any “adverse decisions.”


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