LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi on Thursday assured the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan of standing by his side as the opposition in the provincial assembly mulled ways to overthrow the PTI-PMLQ-led coalition government in the province.
Chief Minister Punjab Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi and his son Chaudhry Moonis Elahi held a meeting with former prime minister Khan at latter’s Lahore residence in Zaman Park. Khyber Pakhtunkwa’s former chief minister Pervez Khattak, PMLQ MNA Chaudhry Hussain Elahi and political adviser of Imran Khan Hafiz Farhat Abbas were also present in the meeting.
Khan — who called off his long march to Islamabad last week — has announced quitting the assemblies across the country, including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab.
The party’s leadership, according to PTI Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry, has approved the dissolution of assemblies in both the provinces, but the final decision will be made after further consultations.
The opposition—PMLN and the allied parties—has said that it would not back down from a challenge, but stressed that snap polls were not in the country’s favour.
In the meeting with Khan, the Punjab chief minister once again pledged his loyalty and stressed that he “owed” the Punjab Assembly to the former prime minister. Elahi said he would not “hesitate for a moment” when Khan orders him to dissolve the assembly and he will keep supporting all of the PTI chief’s decisions.
The Punjab Assembly is a trust of Imran Khan and this trust has been given to him, he further said. “Imran Khan is indispensable for Pakistan.”
He added that the elements behind creating misconceptions in the camps of PTI and PMLQ would “fail again” as he slammed the opposition for claiming that they were in contact with the government’s lawmakers.
“Imran Khan is indispensable,” CM Elahi said and challenged the opposition to table a no-confidence motion against him. “They have failed before and will fail again.”
The PMLQ leader said the opposition is “daydreaming” if it thinks it can overthrow the Punjab government. He added that the opposition does not have the required numbers.
“If the Punjab Assembly is in session, then the governor’s rule cannot be imposed. It is sincere advice to the opposition that they should study the rules of business of the assembly before saying anything,” he added. “Whatever Imran Khan says, I will act without hesitation. Punjab Assembly [is a small thing], I will give my life for Imran Khan,” the chief minister said.
The Chaudhrys inquired after Imran Khan and prayed for his speedy recovery.
The meeting also discussed the current political situation, administrative matters and rules of procedure of the Punjab Assembly.
Under the law, an assembly could not be dissolved if a no-confidence has been moved against the chief minister.
On the occasion, Imran Khan regretted that the “cabal of thieves has destroyed the economy.”Moonis Elahi said that everything said by Khan would be done without any hesitation and added that not only the Punjab Assembly but their lives were also for Imran Khan. “What is happening to PDM is what it sowed,” he added.
In conversation with journalists after the meeting, PTI senior leader Pervez Khattak said that the meeting was good “overall” and that Khan would make the final call on all matters.
“Chaudhry and us, we are all one. Khan Sahib is our leader. All the decisions that have been made will be unveiled later,” the former KP CM said.
Khattak said both the leaders have reached a consensus on all matters and that CM Punjab has agreed to follow Khan’s decisions. “He [Elahi] stands by his words.” The PTI leader also said that he did not want “groupings or divisions” within the party as he noted that the establishment had committed to staying out of politics.