PA Speaker and some ministries go to PML-Q, Moonis to run for NA by-poll from Gujrat

  • Power-sharing formula between PTI-PMLQ worked out
  • Pervaiz Elahi to become Speaker Punjab Assembly
  • Moonis to contest from NA-69 Gujrat by-poll on Mr Elahi’s vacant seat

By Iram Salim

(Exclusive) Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid senior leader Chaudhry Parvez Elahi is likely to accept the offer of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan to become Speaker Punjab Assembly.

The PTI and PML-Q have announced joining hands to form government both in the Centre and Punjab after taking onboard Independents.

Since the country is facing extreme economic crisis and going a critical phase of its history the Chaudhry brothers did not make any demand from Imran Khan during their meeting with him in Banigala Islamabad yesterday, says a PTI leader privy to the meeting.

“We are here to support you for Pakistan,” Chaudhry Shujaat and Pervaiz Elahi told Mr Khan, rejecting media reports that PML-Q was vying for chief minister slot in Punjab or deputy prime minister position. “At this time we should not be involved in petty politics and only think about Pakistan. Along with you (Imran Khan) we will serve Pakistan in whatsoever capacity,” declared Mr Elahi.

A PTI leader told this correspondent Pervaiz Elahi has accepted the offer of Mr Khan to become Speaker in the Punjab Assembly.

It is learnt that Mr Khan asked Mr Elahi to become Speaker in Punjab Assembly as the coalition government led by PTI in the province will require an experienced person like him to run the House in the face of strong PML-N opposition. “The Chaudhry brothers did not make any demand in the meeting. Mr Khan told them that he would like to see Mr Elahi as speaker Punjab Assembly to run the House which would be a tough job in the face of strong opposition and he considered him (Elahi) a right man for the right job.”

Mr Khan appreciated Mr Elahi for serving well in Punjab during his tenure (2002-07) as chief minister and said with the help of PML-Q the PTI would set up an example of good governance. Mr Khan was critical of Shahbaz Sharif government which he said stopped all development projects of Mr Elahi and promoted nepotism and encouraged corruption during his (Shahbaz ) last 10 years rule in Punjab. Under the power sharing formula between the two parties, PML-Q will also get ministries in both Punjab and National Assemblies.

Moonis Elahi will contest from the Gujrat NA seat in by-poll. This will be for the first time that Mr Moonis will do politics on the platform of National Assembly.

PTI spokesman Fawad Chaudhry has also declared that a “power-sharing formula” between PTI and PML-Q has been finalised and now the chief minister would be from the PTI. “We have achieved the required number to form the government in Punjab and the Centre,” he said.

As Pervaiz Elahi is retaining his PA seat he will have to vacate two national assembly seats, NA-65 (Chakwal) and NA-69 (Gujrat). Moonis Elahi will contest from the Gujrat NA seat in by-poll. This will be for the first time that Mr Moonis will do politics on the platform of National Assembly. Earlier, he remained the parliamentary leader of the PML-Q in Punjab Assembly. The PML-Q elders have decided that young leadership of their family should come forward and lead the party. Already Moonis’ cousin Hussain Elahi has been elected youngest member of National Assembly in July 25 polls from Gujrat.

Earlier, Pervaiz Elahi’s name was doing the round as a strong candidate for the slot of the chief minister in the absence of any potential candidate in the PTI. It is said that any ‘weak’ chief minister (of PTI) may not be able to control the strong bureaucracy which has affiliation with PML-N.

Still PTI is looking for a ‘strong’ candidate (within the party) for the top slot. Although names of Dr Yasmin Rashid and Aleem Khan are doing the round for the coveted post, Imran Khan has not yet finalised the candidate as he is reportedly keen to nominate a person who has clean past and a strong administrative.

A PTI leader told this correspondent Pervaiz Elahi has accepted the offer of Mr Khan to become Speaker in the Punjab Assembly. To a question as how Mr Elahi agreed on the speaker’s post as he was being considered for the chief minister office, he said: “The coalition needs Chaudhry sahib like person to run the House most effectively where the PML-N will try its best to create hurdles. Mr Elahi will simply outsmart the PML-N in the assembly and also forestall N-League’s conspiracies against the coalition government.” — Pak Destiny

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