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Sunday June 26, 2022

Pervaiz Elahi ‘too late’, now we’ll elect Punjab CM: Zardari

Asif Zardari says the Opposition will jointly name a candidate who would become the Punjab chief minister

By Our Correspondent
March 30, 2022
PPP supremo Asif Zardari (centre) speaks to media in Islamabad after MNA Aslam Bhootani announced to join the Opposition ranks on Tuesday, March 30. -Courtesy PPP
PPP supremo Asif Zardari (centre) speaks to media in Islamabad after MNA Aslam Bhootani announced to join the Opposition ranks on Tuesday, March 30. -Courtesy PPP

ISLAMABAD: Former President Asif Ali Zardari announced on Tuesday the opposition would elect chief minister of its own choice in Punjab. He said the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf alone cannot elect PMLQ leader Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi as CM as it lacks majority in the Punjab Assembly.

“It’s too late now for Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi. The opposition will jointly name a candidate who would become the Punjab chief minister and bring about a change in the province,” he said during a press conference as an independent Member National Assembly from Balochistan, Aslam Bhootani, announced joining the opposition at the Zardari House here.

Zardari said he had invited the PMLQ leaders and they congratulated him at midnight, but then they went somewhere else in the morning. However, he said he still believed the powers that matter were neutral.

News Desk adds: Speaking to Hamid Mir in Geo News programme Capital Talk on Tuesday, PMLQ leader and Punjab Assembly Speaker Pervaiz Elahi saidthat he joined hands with Imran Khan when he learnt that Maryam Nawaz group and Shehbaz Sharif are not on the same page.

The PMLQ leader said it was because of Maryam group stance that why a party with 10 member should be getting everything that they ignored Shehbaz Sharif’s dinner invitation. Elahi said that Maryam group is considered the voice of Nawaz Sharif, and Shehbaz, despite his stature, cannot overturn Nawaz’s veto.

Elahi said they always move cautiously in their affairs with the PMLN. “We also learnt that PMLQ will get chief minister slot only for three or four months,” he added. Elahi said, “Then came PTI’s Asad Umar and Pervaiz Khattak, but we told them we don’t trust them. I said let’s see when they offered coming up with chief minister office offer tomorrow.”

Elahi said PTI leaders and workers believe they have a natural alliance with the PTI. He said Aslam Bhootani was with PMLQ, but Tariq Bashir Cheema steered him towards the opposition. Elahi said Cheema abhorred PMLQ going with the PTI. “He says he stayed with the PTI because of us (Chaudhry brothers), but now he is adamant about voting against the PM.”

He said Shahbaz’s son Salman called him, but he told him to read a newspaper report (about Maryam group stance). He said that in his meeting with the PM today (Tuesday), he has advised him to give MQMP governorship and the maritime affairs ministry, assuring him that MQMP is onboard.

He said he has spoken to Jahangir Tareen and the issues of his group stand settled, adding meetings with his members are on. Tareen group leader Aun Chaudhry, on the hand, said his group had yet to reach a conclusion.

Speaking on Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Saath, he said their minus-Buzdar demand has been met. Confirming contact with Pervaiz Elahi, he said Tareen would be making the final decision.

He said Aleem Khan had already expressed his willingness to join Tareen group. Aleem would be included in consultation, adding he couldn’t say if Aleem had own line of action.

Speaking on the same group, Tareen group’s Raja Riaz said his group has difference with Imran Khan who had victimised them. It would be hard for his group to vote for Pervaiz Elahi if Imran Khan nominates him for the CM office. MQMP’s Faisal Sabzwari said talks with the governor and some federal ministers were under way and the government is assuring them of early redress of their grievances. However, the MQMP has so far not decided to favour the government, he added. PMLN Punjab president Rana Sanaullah said Pervaiz Elahi should have contacted the PMLN if he had doubts about the length of his tenure as the CM.

Rana said Elahi had assured them of support once they filed the no-trust resolution with the assembly. He said Elahi’s act is unbecoming and he should look for better excuses for going back on his commitment.

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