By Irum Saleem
All eyes are on Chaudhrys of Gujrat. Are they going to stay with Prime Minister Imran Khan or have other plans? The opposition — PMLN, PPP and JUI-F — have pinned their hopes on Chaudhrys’ PMLQ, an important ally of ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf.
The opposition appears to be ready to give Punjab chief ministership and other lucrative positions to PMLQ but Chaudhry Parvez Elahi and Moonis Elahi have kept their cards close to their chest.
The opposition parties have decided to join forces in order to overthrow the PTI set-up through a vote of no-confidence against prime minister Imran Khan.
Speaker National Assembly @AsadQaiserPTI sb called me and we discussed current situation. I told him that political discussions and consultations are going on . This does not mean any decision has been taken. We are bound to our commitments and will honor them fully.— Moonis Elahi (@MoonisElahi6) February 24, 2022
Dawn also writes in it’s editorial that the PML-N so far has not seen any merit in the present assemblies continuing. The PPP, on the other hand, is of the view that the assemblies should complete their five-year tenure, especially because the opposition needs the support of the PML-Q. “The PML-Q is believed to have demanded the continuation of the assemblies and the office of Punjab chief minister in return for lending support to the opposition. The PML-N feels that both the PPP and PML-Q could collude to use this interim period to create support for themselves in the province, which remains the PML-N’s stronghold.”
It further says if the opposition parties fail to win over the PML-Q, they will have to depend on a rebellion from within the PTI, with dissenters agreeing to resign from the Assembly or vote with them — again at the cost of their seats. Hence, the success of the vote of no-confidence largely depends on which side the PML-Q and other PTI allies throw their weight.
In his recent tweet PMLQ senior leader and Federal Minister on Water Resources Moonis Elahi said: “Speaker National Assembly @AsadQaiserPTI sb called me and we discussed current situation. I told him that political discussions and consultations are going on . This does not mean any decision has been taken. We are bound to our commitments and will honor them fully.”
So far, the Chaudhrys have reportedly sought time for further deliberation on the opposition’s offer. Shehbaz Sharif recently met the Chaudhrys after 14 years and reportedly offered to shake hands with them in the future scheme of things but Chaudharys don’t trust the Sharifs much because of their (Sharifs) past history of betrayal.
Chaudhry Parvez Elahi made it clear that in the political process, contacts were developed with everyone. “Keeping in view our political reputation, we will make decisions in the interest of Pakistan,” he stated. The PML-Q lawmakers have authorised Mr Elahi to make all future decisions (about the opposition’s offers to join it).
Political pundits are of the view that all depends on Chaudhrys — if they continue their journey with PM Khan then game of no confidence for the opposition is over. PAK DESTINY