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January 22, 2020

PTI-PML-Q relations: Skeptic Q-League urges consistency on road to mending ties

Top Story

January 22, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has started fulfilling the commitments and promises made by it with the Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q) which, however, emphasizes consistency to keep the relations afloat.

Senior PML-Q leaders The News talked to say things are settling down and the serious rupture in the ties is being repaired. If the present approach continued, most problems that marred the ties will be taken care of, they say.

The federal government, according to them, has started issuing instructions to post officials recommended by the PML-Q in districts where its representatives won in the 2018 general elections.

When contacted by The News, prominent PML-Q leader Chaudhry Moonis Elahi expressed the hope that relations were fast becoming normal. He said his party was an ally of the ruling alliance and didn’t want to create any problems for it.

However, other PML-Qstalwarts said that the tension between Prime Minister Imran Khan and Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi continues to exist as before. They have neither met since long nor have they any plan to hold a session in the near future. Efforts to arrange a meeting have so far been fruitless due to the existing bad blood.

According to insiders, at one point of the sit-in organized by Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, an influential civilian leader disclosed that he has the information that the Chaudhrys of Gujrat have sponsored this agitation and are also funding it.

However, in the same meeting another powerful figure rebutted this and said that the information was misplaced and wrong. Pervaiz Elahi was accordingly conveyed what transpired in the meeting convened when the sit-in was in progress. He expressed annoyance over it.

At another point, the influential leader, in a meeting, urged Pervaiz Elahi not to address pressers in the company of Fazlur Rehman as the JUI-F chief was getting undue media projection. However, he was told that in any case the sit-in was bound to attract massive coverage because it was an event worth reporting by the electronic and print media.

On his return from those deliberations, the Speaker revealed to his colleagues what transpired in the huddle. He was told by his party leaders that it was not the matter of projection of Fazlur Rehman but of Pervaiz Elahi as the influential person did not want the Speaker to get publicity.

Insiders say that no federal person, who matters, even bothered to inquire about the health of PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain when he returned from Germany after his treatment although he has been seriously ill. On the other hand, they say even the sworn political rivals telephoned the Chaudhrys to express solidarity with Shujaat Hussain and wish him good health.

They point out that the Chaudhrys have relations with Fazlur Rehman and his father since decades despite at time being in different political camps. The Chaudhrys talked to the JUI-F chief because of their acceptability from the government side. When some federal ministers tried to spoil the peace efforts, Pervaiz Elahi rushed back to Lahore from Islamabad abandoning the dialogue process.

About the offer the PML-Nawaz has made to work for making Pervaiz Elahi the chief minister of Punjab in place of Usman Buzdar, the PML-Q insiders said that the PML-N was offering its backing just as bait so that the ruling alliance cracks.

They said that it was an open secret that some leaders, who deserted the PML-Q and joined the PTI, often try to spoil the relationship between the two parties by mis-feeding the rulers.

The insiders said that the PML-Q is well aware that the federal government has agreed to implement the pledges, which had been reduced in writing at the time of forging coalition, under pressure from its allies.

They said when all the allied parties are articulating the same kind of grudges; the pressure naturally builds up on the senior partner. However, they stressed that steadfastness needs to be observed to keep the relations smooth and orderly.

The PML-Q has serious objections to the local governments’ law made by the Punjab government and says that if this statute remains as it is, there will be no alliance between it and the PTI in the next local council elections.