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February 2, 2020

PML-Q to boycott new committee

February 2, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-NQ) will have no truck with a new three-member committee formed by Prime Minister Imran Khan to liaise with it, replacing the previous body of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

“Message from us is loud and clear: We will not talk to the new forum comprising Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, Governor Chaudhry Sarwar and Federal Minister Shafqat Mahmood,” prominent PML-Q leader Chaudhry Moonis Elahi told The News when contacted.

He said that first the promises and commitments made by the earlier committee consisting of senior PTI leader Jehangir Tareen and Defence Minister Pervez Khattak will have to be fulfilled. Only then, the PML-Q will talk to the new body, he announced.

PML-Q insiders believe that by constituting the new committee, the PTI has cut Tareen to size by excluding himfromit.They feel that it is the internal strife of the PTI that has led to this eventuality, but the PML-Q has nothing to do with it as it is their problem. They say that a harmony that has been built byTareen andKhattakwith thePMLQ has been sabotaged. They alluded to certain PTI leaders for creating the new situation.The insiders said that thePML-Q was trying to save the coalition from collapse, but some elements are out to rock it for their own reasons.According to them, a top PML-Q leader has talked to Tareen, who is currently abroad. The PTI leader told himthat hewas not aware of the new development andwould knowabout it on his return in a couple of days. They said that it was publicly known that some members of the new committeewere opposed toTareen in thePTI’s internal politics, who tried to detach him fromnegotiationswith the PML-Q. After public grudging by the PML-Q and boycott of federal cabinetmeeting by its loneminister in protest, the primeminister assigned the task of removing its grievances to Tareen and Khattak. They held talks with the PML-Q and largely took care of its complaints and improved the relations. The PML-Qwants that postings and transfers of administration officials should bemade in the districts ofGujrat, Mandi Bahauddin and Bahawalpur where its candidateswon in the 2018 general elections. Tareen andKhattak agreed to it and thePML-Qstarted expressing satisfaction over the progress. Its estrangement aggravatedwhen the prime minister during his recent visit to Lahore did not bother to meet the top PML-Qleadership. Our correspondent adds from Lahore: PML-QPresident and former prime minister Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain has said Imran Khan faces no threat fromhis allies, but fromhis own people. “We regard Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) as our colleague and they should also consider us as their colleagues, and not an enemy”. While responding to various media questions, he said “we are not only colleagues but also know it well how to endure it”.Ch Shujaat said: “Allies always believe in unity and equality; our party is, no doubt, small but experience-wise, we have ruled the country with two-thirds majority.” The PML-Q chief said Ch Pervaiz Elahi, Tariq Bashir Cheema, Moonis Elahi or anyworker or leader of the party could give a statement that reflected the truth and patriotism. However, he added, some “friends” interpret it wrongly and show its clips to Imran Khan for their vested interests. In reply to a question about a case, filed by Shahbaz Sharif against a newspaper in a London court, he said we would see for how long Shahbaz Sharif pursues the case. He said when world’s most popular newspaper The Guardian published a wrong news item against thePML-Q. “We had filed a case in the Queen’s Bench of London High Court against The Guardian through prominent lawyers ofPakistanEjazBatalvi andMahmood A Shaikh, which ran for three months and they won that case. At this, the newspaper published apology on its front page prominently.Asked aboutRailways Minister Sheikh Rashid’s statement about Shahbaz Sharif, an impression is being created that Shahbaz Sharif had any links with the establishment, Ch Shujaat said whosoever gets any position in the party or leaves it, it should be remembered that N-League’s vote bank is of Nawaz Sharif’s, and Shahbaz Sharif is zero beforeNawaz Sharif even today.