Byline: Maqbool Malik
ISLAMABAD -- Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed his key political aides to engage the main opposition parties in the parliament for legislation on issues of national and public importance.
Knowledgeable sources say the Prime Minister has tasked Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser and Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak to keep engaged Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) and Pakistan People's Party (PPP) for the important legislation.
According to the sources, although the Prime Minister and his ruling party Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) do not foresee in near future any major challenge in keeping the ruling coalition intact, the Prime Minister wants to keep the main opposition parties engaged as part of the strategy.
The Prime Minister's move to write a letter to the opposition over the issue of appointment of Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and two members of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is also being seen as part of that strategy.
Likewise, the Prime Minister is also seeking to engage PML-N, the main opposition party in the National Assembly as well as PPP and other smaller parliamentary parties on revisiting the existing anti-graft laws giving immense power to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) which the main opposition parties believed were being used by the government to victimise its political opponents.
Interestingly, the opposition parties have already shown its willingness to the government for rationalising the NAB related to the committee the Prime Minister had given the task to secure their support on amending the NAB laws.
The position of the Prime Minister and his party has gained more advantage on the issue in terms of timeline given by the Supreme Court to the government few days ago to amend the NAB laws within three months.
Political analysts believe the Supreme Court's decision on NAB laws has also provided ample space to engage the opposition parties not only on NAB laws but also secure their support over other issues the government is seeking to do legislation on.
There are more than a dozen presidential ordinances including bunch of those the government has recently withdrawn on the request of the opposition parties in the National Assembly under a tacit understanding they will support the government to make them laws.