Tuesday March 28, 2023

Possible merger with PTI: PML-Q suspends Parvez Elahi's basic membership

Elahi does not have authority to merge the party with PTI, reads show-cause notice

January 16, 2023
PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain (left) and Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi. — Online/Radio Pakistan/File
PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain (left) and Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi. — Online/Radio Pakistan/File 

Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain on Monday suspended the basic membership of Chaudhry Parvez Elahi — for his statement about a possible merger with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

A day earlier, Punjab Chief Minister Elahi hinted at the possibility of a merger between the PML-Q and its ally the PTI.

A show-cause notice served to Elahi mentioned that PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat called an urgent meeting of the senior leaders, where it was noted that the provincial president — Elahi — did not have the authority to merge the party with PTI.

"Your [Elahi] party membership is suspended until the explanation," the notice, a copy of which has also been sent to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), read.

The statement went on to say that PML-Q, as a political party, maintains its individual identity, vote bank, party discipline, and rules and regulations which Elahi violated through his statements.

"In relation to that, you [Elahi] are served a notice of seven days demanding an explanation within those days — either as an individual or by the lawyer — for such an unlawful and unconstitutional act."

"Otherwise, action would be taken against you under the party constitution's article 16 and article 50," the notice added.

The decision to issue a show-cause notice to Elahi was taken during a high-level party meeting with Secretary-General Tariq Bashir Cheema, Senior Vice president Chaudhry Salik Hussain, and senior leader Chaudhry Shafay Hussain in attendance.

Elahi — while answering a journalist’s question during a media talk at the inauguration ceremony of the Khatam Ul Nabiyeen University in Lahore Sunday — implied that the possibility of the PTI-PML-Q merger might be a possibility.

On the question of whether the provincial chief executive would contest in the upcoming general elections on the symbol of a bat (the election symbol of PTI) or on the symbol of a tractor (PML-Q’s poll symbol), Elahi said: “You will have to be a little patient to hear the answer to this question”.

The proposal for the merger of the two parties was shared with journalists by Imran Khan in a meeting at his Zaman Town residence in Lahore Friday, where he looked quite relaxed and confident after Parvez Elahi’s successful vote of confidence.

Speaking to the media on Sunday, Elahi also said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif would have to “fight for his life” to get the vote of confidence.