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February 11, 2019

PTI, PML-Q refresh alliance

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February 11, 2019

LAHORE: The PTI has agreed giving one more ministry to the PML-Q at the Centre and MNA Moonis Elahi will take oath as federal minister in the next few days.

Sources stated that around 10 to 15 more MNAs of the PTI will also take oath as federal ministers, state ministers and advisers and special assistants within next two to three weeks as the government has planned to expand the federal cabinet which would be done after the visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Already, Tariq Bashir Cheema, a Q- Leaguer is a federal minister whereas Moonis Elahi is likely to take oath as minister for industries. In a meeting between prime minister’s special assistant on political affairs Naeemul Haq and top leadership of the PML-Q in Lahore at the residence of PML-Q President Ch Shujaat Hussain, both sides agreed to move ahead together while setting aside differences that have been surfacing for the last many days.

The meeting was attended by PML-Q MNAs Moonis Elahi, Ch Salik Hussain, Ch Hussain Elahi, PTI leader Ijaz Chaudhry, senator Kamil Ali Agha, provincial minister Bao Rizwan, Shafay Hussain and Salim Baryaar. Sources stated that Prime Minister Imran Khan in order to maintain a proper working relationship with his party’s major ally the PML-Q has also mandated his adviser and close confidant Naeemul Haq to maintain coordination with the PML-Q in Punjab and Centre. No other figure of the PTI, other than Naeemul Haq could hold negotiations with the PML-Q, it has been revealed.

This is noteworthy that after the Tariq Bashir Cheema and Ch Sarwar episode, once again, differences between the PTI and the PML-Q were coming to surface, particularly after the statement of Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, who had stated that it was the ‘kindness’ of the PTI that it wasn’t forming any forward bloc in Q-League which otherwise wasn’t very difficult to form. After these remarks, Moonis Elahi, the central party leader through a tweet showed great concern and also wrote that this could dismantle the relationship between the two allies. In the meanwhile, situation got further tense when Hafiz Ammar Yasir, the only minister of the PML-Q resigned while blaming Punjab chief minister’s secretary Raheel Siddiqi for interfering in his ministry. Bao Rizwan, another PML-Q MPA who has recently taken oath as provincial minister for environment also accused the PTI leadership of conspiring to form a forward bloc in Q-League.

It is pertinent to mention that in Punjab and Centre, the PML-Q is the major ally of the PTI and both the governments particularly that of Chief Minister Usman Buzdar in the province could lose simple majority if the PML-Q withdraws support.

After the recent visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to Lahore in which he held important meetings with Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and Governor Ch Sarwar, special instructions were given to them to maintain good working relationship with allies. Within a week of PM’s visit, Bao Rizwan, a PML-Q MPA from Sialkot was inducted in Punjab cabinet and Moonis Elahi is likely to take oath in coming days.

In the meeting between PTI and PML-Q leadership Sunday, PM’s special assistant Naeemul Haq conveyed the message of Prime Minister Imran Khan to Ch Shujaat Hussain and stated that Imran attached special importance to the alignment between the PTI and the PML-Q. Later, the leaders talking to media stated very clearly that alliance between the two parties will not only remain intact but will be further strengthened. Naeem said the PML-Q will be given more representation in the federal cabinet and they will continue benefiting from the experience of Ch Shujaat Hussain whereas Punjab Assembly Speaker Pervaiz Elahi is playing an important role.

Welcoming arrival of Naeemul Haq, Shujaat said whatever he has said is quite meaningful. “We have pledged to go together and will move together Insha-Allah, those spreading rumours and creating obstacles for the alliance will fail, the alliance will remain intact, supporting Imran Khan is the need of the hour,” he added.

“Chief Minister Usman Buzdar is good selection of Imran Khan and this will yield good results, we will foil any movement against him and not be part of any conspiracy,” he further added. He said that some big Sardars regard him as small Sardar and say that it was their right. Shujaat further said the PML-Q is a registered party and none of their members was meeting Hamza Shahbaz or others.

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