Senior leaders of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) on Sunday finally said that they are now ready for talks with the new committee formed by the government of Prime Minister, Imran Khan. Pakistan TV news reported Sunday night.
PMLQ had been turning down repeated requests from the newly formed government committee for a meeting. Apparently, PMLQ leadership was comfortable with their talks with Jehangir Khan Tareen who was leading the previous committee. They believed that they were about to reach some conclusions when committee was changed. New committee consists of CM Punjab, Usman Buzdar, Governor Mohammad Sarwar and federal minister, Shafqat Mehmood.
It is generally understood that PMLQ wants greater role and say in three districts of Punjab – including Gujarat, which has been historic power base of Chaudhry Shujjaat family
According to sources, a meeting between both parties will be held in a few days. However some channels predicted that meeting between both sides will take place within this week. On Tuesday, PM Imran Khan is about to announce some important decisions. Apparently he is promising to take powerful steps against all those who have been hoarding food items like sugar, ghee, wheat and oil leading to unprecedented price hikes. So will he be meeting the PMLQ team the same week has to be seen.
How PMLQ stand was softened?
PMLQ leadership, as mentioned above, had been turning down attempts from the newly created government team for a meeting. This resistance developed when federal government changed the earlier committee consisting of Jehangir Khan Tareen and Perviaz Khattak. On 3rd Feb, Shafqat Mehmood, senior minister for higher education, met Pervaiz Elahi creating some softening.
This development occurred as details of the written contract between the federal government and PML-Q came forth according to which two ministries each were to be given to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s ally in Punjab and federation.
Furthermore, according to this PTI/PMLQ agreement of 2018, PML-Q would have gotten representation at district level. They were also supposed to get representation in different districct departments under the signed power-sharing formula. Other points include consultations between PTI and PML-Q over day-to-day affairs and policy making. It is generally understood that PMLQ wants greater role and say in three districts of Punjab – including Gujarat, which has been historic power base of Chaudhry Shujjaat family.
Empowering the PML-Q members regarding matters of development funds and solving public issues was also part of the deal but according to the PMLQ, PTI government has failed to fulfil its promises. PTI members remain silent on such matters.
Pakistan Muslim League-Q Senator Kamil Ali Agha however has clarified on media that PML-Q does not want another federal ministry. According to him, PTI has been told. But in politics there is no last word.
Buzdar had also been rejecting some impressions but more than one PMLQ leader expressed disappointment when Buzdar was included in the new committee
Agha believes that a negative propaganda is being run against PML-Q Member National Assembly (MNA) Moonis Elahi regarding ministry and to create differences among the party.
Moonis Elahi meets PM Imran Khan
On Friday, 7th Feb, PML-Q senior leader and scion of the Chaudhry family of Gujrat, Moonis Elahi, finally met Prime Minister Imran Khan in a bid to bridge the gulf that has come between the two allied parties in the government. This was Moonis’s first formal meeting with PM Imran Khan – who reportedly is not much fond of Moonis Elahi. Since becoming PTI partners after August 2018 elections, PMLQ leadership had been expecting a federal ministry for Moonis Ellahi, something that did not materialise. Will this happen now remains to be seen.
The meeting came after Moonis’ father, Chaudhry Pervez Elahi, had told a representative of the newly-formed government committee tasked with holding talks with the allied parties that they preferred meeting the premier directly instead of negotiating with his representatives.
Talking to reporters after meeting PM Imran, Moonis had said that the first meeting with the latter was good.
“We talked openly and whatever the PM said was clear. After all these happenings, I think things will get right,” he had said, adding that he had informed Imran about the PML-Q’s concerns and had also assured him of their support in resolving the issues amicably.
“It was unfair to set up another committee when a committee was already working on the issue,” Moonis had said, adding that some people, who had been associated with the PML-Q in the past, had misled Imran Khan.
Moonis had rejected reports that his party wanted to topple the government of CM Buzdar. Buzdar had also been rejecting some impressions but more than one PMLQ leader expressed disappointment when Buzdar was included in the new committee.
“However, some people want to fail Imran Khan. It was our agreement with the PTI that our ministers would be fully empowered, they would be able to do transfers and postings and there would be no interference in our ministries. Matters about three districts were also settled,” Moonis Elahi told the media.
According to some reports, Khattak had conveyed Tareen’s reservations to PM Imran and the latter had invited Tareen for a meeting at his Bani Gala residence on Thursday, 6th Feb
Referring to Elahi’s meeting with Shafqat Mehmood, Moonis had said Mahmood had assured his party that decisions taken by the committee comprising Tareen and Khattak would be implemented. He had added that work on transfers and postings was underway, but the issue of release of development funds has yet to be sorted out.
“We want this alliance to work and it is also our desire to contest the next election together,” he had said, denying that his father was eyeing the CM’s office.
Jehangir Tareen unhappy?
Meanwhile, media reports claim that PTI senior leader Tareen was reportedly unhappy for being ignored in the new dialogue committees formed by PM Imran.
In a meeting with Khattak on Wednesday, Tareen was said to have conveyed his reservations over some party leaders who were giving the impression that he was responsible for the breakdown in the talks process with allied parties.
Read more: Is Usman Buzdar trying to be more Powerful?
According to some reports, Khattak had conveyed Tareen’s reservations to PM Imran and the latter had invited Tareen for a meeting at his Bani Gala residence on Thursday, 6th Feb. Reports claimed that the premier would include Tareen in the new dialogue committees in a bid to placate him.
GVS News Desk with input from agencies and TV sources.