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Tuesday February 07, 2023

Delay in assemblies’ dissolution: PTI, PMLQ intensify contacts

All political forces concerned have intensified contact given the indecision of the PTI to dissolve the assemblies

By News Desk & Our Correspondent
December 06, 2022
Punjab CM Parvez Elahi (Left), PTI Chief Imran Khan (Centre) and KP CM Mahmood Khan. The News/file
Punjab CM Parvez Elahi (Left), PTI Chief Imran Khan (Centre) and KP CM Mahmood Khan. The News/file

LAHORE/ ISLAMABAD: In the wake of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) indecision to give final date for dissolution of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa assemblies, all political forces concerned have intensified contacts.

On the one hand, the PTI and Pakistan Muslim League Quaid (PMLQ) launched consultations, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari reached Lahore “to pave the way for an in-house change in the Punjab Assembly”.

On Monday, Asif Zardari held a meeting with PMLQ President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain at his residence in Lahore. Party sources said matters of ‘mutual interest’ including county’s overall political situation, Punjab’s current status, fear of assembly dissolution, etc., were discussed in detail.

Sources in the federal government said the in-house change in Punjab was a stronger option instead of imposition of governor’s rule, and the task was given to Asif Zardari by the ruling coalition. Sources said no-confidence motion would not be submitted for in house change. If the PTI and PMLQ fail to seek a vote of confidence, election of chief minister would be held again.

As per government sources, the return of PMLQ’s six assembly members to Shujaat group could prove to be a game-changer. PMLQ Secretary General and Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Tariq Bashir Cheema and former president Asif Ali Zardari’s Political Secretary Rukhsana Bangash were also present.

Political analysts termed the meeting between Asif Zardari and Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain important, as politics in Punjab has entered a new phase after the recent interviews of Chief Minister Punjab Chaudhry Parvez Elahi and his son Moonis Elahi.

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi said he did not see elections taking place in the next four months. In an interview with a private news channel, he said: “Elections cannot be held before four months; the federal and provincial governments need time to work and the elections may be delayed even after October next year.”

Although the PMLQ leader repeatedly said that he fully backed the PTI chief’s decisions, his statement was in contrast with Khan’s threats of dissolving the assembly soon. In his fresh interview, CM Elahi also reiterated that former chief of army staff (COAS) General (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa had asked the PMLQ to side with the PTI.

Separately, PTI Senior Vice President Fawad Hussain Chaudhry said there might be a difference of opinion between the lawmakers in the two provincial assemblies of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, but the final call would be Khan’s. “In this regard, we have kicked off meetings. We have summoned Lahore’s MNAs and MPAs to hear them out. “Tomorrow [Tuesday], Khan has called a meeting of the party’s senior leaders to mull the strategy relating to politics and assemblies’ dissolution,” he added.  

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