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Thursday, November 30, 2023

Will PML-Q quit ruling alliance?

Prime Minister Imran Khan held a meeting with the Chaudhary brothers and promised to address their grievances. However, Parvez Elahi has reportedly conveyed to the premier that “due to the communication gap, there are some genuine issues,” sources claim.

In a meeting with PM Imran earlier this week, Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Parvez Elahi, federal minister Tariq Bashir Cheema, PML-Q MNAs – Moonis Elahi, Salik Hussain and Hussain Elahi – Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, Shahbaz Gill, Shafay Hussain and Muhammad Khan Bhatti were also present. Sources claim that the PML-Q was planning to quit the ruling alliance so the premier decided to address their reservations.

The premier held a separate meeting with Chaudhry Shujaat and Parvez Elahi for 30 or so minutes in which Elahi reportedly told Imran about his party’s concerns. “The meeting helped thrash out the differences between the allies,” reported daily Dawn.

Sources claim that the PMQ-L was taken into confidence by the premier and “almost all outstanding issues between the PML-Q and PTI have been resolved”. This is important to note that the Chaudhary brothers are the only allies the premier has paid a visit to.

On November 6, PML-Q leadership skipped the dinner hosted by PM Imran Khan. Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi and Federal Minister Tariq Bashir Cheema skipped the lunch.

Notably, in June this year, the Chaudhry brothers did not attend a dinner hosted by the premier because of their “busy schedules”. However, despite all differences with PTI and its leadership, PML-Q voted for the budget in June 2020.

According to the sources, PML-Q has reservations over not resolving their issues despite the passage of two years. The lunch hosted by PM Imran Khan was attended by coalition partners including MQM-P, GDA, AML and others here in Islamabad today.

GVS spoke with sources in Punjab and learned that the PML-Q’s leadership has conveyed its displeasure to the premier. “Chaudhary brothers want some officers of their choice to be appointed in some districts. The provincial police chief and some senior bureaucrats did not agree with Chaudhary brothers,” a reliable source told GVS.

A year ago, this publication reported some misunderstandings between the PML-Q and PTI leadership. However, Pervaiz Elahi clarified that there was no misunderstanding between his party and the government. He rejected all the reports and speculations suggesting a tussle going on amongst the allies.

Read More: Will Akhtar Mengal’s BNP stay in working relationship with PTI?

Earlier there were some reports suggesting a misunderstanding between the government and PML-N. Journalist Rauf Klasra had revealed that the allies were not on good terms and there may be some serious problems in the future. He predicted a possible alliance among the JUI-F, PML-Q and Shehbaz’s PML-N.

Elahi recently blamed former Director-General ISI Shuja Pasha of interfering into the political process. “General Pasha was the man who forced some of our key members to join the PTI back in 2010,” he told the host in a talk-show.

BNP-M quits ruling alliance

In June 2020, BNP-M chief Sardar Akhtar Mengal also announced to quit the ruling alliance. Mengal argued that the six-points agenda signed with his party was not fulfilled.

It is important to note that Mengal’s six-point agenda includes recovery of missing persons, implementation of the National Action Plan, implementation of six percent quota for Balochistan in the federal government, immediate repatriation of Afghan refugees, and the construction of dams in the province to resolve the acute water crisis.

The BNP has 4 seats in the National Assembly and nine in the Balochistan assembly. It established a working relationship with the PTI-led government and demanded the development of the province. Experts believe that PM Khan is committed to ensuring the implementation of the six-point agenda signed with the BNP to lessen the anger of the people of Balochistan who have historically been ignored and exploited.

Will PML-Q quit the ruling alliance?

There is a perception that the ruling party may face a major setback if the Chaudhary brothers decide to part ways. However, GVS sources claim that such a development is far from reality. Talks are underway and both sides seem to be serious to resolve the matter as soon as possible, learned GVS.

Read More: Can PPP convince Akhtar Mengal to go against government?

“PML-Q leadership is on broad. We are in touch with all of them. Political parties can face some unwanted situations and there is nothing to worry about that. Trivial political differences do not affect a long-standing working relationship between and among political forces,” a PTI leader exclusively told GVS. The leader—who happens to be in touch with the Chaudhary brothers on behalf of the ruling party—believes that the challenges the PML-Q is facing shall be addressed soon.