PML-Q divide widens over party head

The Nation  |  Jan 27, 2023

 PML-Q divide widens over party head
LAHORE/ISLAMABAD        -       In a significant political development, Ch Parvez Elahi-led faction of the PML-Q Thursday removed the party president Ch Shujat Hussain and other office holders from their respective positions, a move which might push the divided Chaudhry family into a legal battle any time soon. The central general council of Pakistan Muslim League which met here under the chairmanship of Chairman Election Commission Jahangir A. Jhojha elected new party office bearers thereby raising questions over the legality of its actions. In the meeting, Chaudhry Wajahat Hussain was elected unopposed as the central president and Senator Kamil Ali Agha as the central secretary general. Also, Ch Parvez Elahi was elected as the provincial president unopposed.

Ch Parvez Elahi later nominated former provincial minister Bao Rizwan as the general secretary of party’s Punjab chapter. Ch Parvez Elahi also addressed this gathering and took the opportunity to criticise the PTI leaders who had advised Imran Khan to dissolve the assemblies. In an implicit reference to the arrest of PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry, the former chief minister said that results of their ill-advised actions were now visible looking at the recent anti-PTI moves from the government.

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He said that he was not worried about the government’s tactics since he had witnessed many such situations from the time of Chaudhry Zahoor Elahi. “We are not going to panic”, he added. He said that if the assemblies had been allowed to complete their tenure, the PML-N would have been wiped out from the political scene.

“Whenever the PML-N members meet us, they say that we are thankful that your government ended soon; otherwise, you would not have left us to go anywhere”, he said. Without naming anybody, Parvez Elahi said that some three or four people sitting around Imran Khan would advise the PTI chairman to dissolve the assemblies. He, however, commended Imran Khan for supporting his candidature for the chief ministership.

“After God Almighty, I am deeply grateful to Imran Khan who chose me as the Chief Minister of Punjab. Imran Khan is still the most popular leader of Pakistan after Quaid-e-Azam”. He also said that the PML-Q has to walk side by side with the PTI. Parvez Elahi also lambasted Caretaker Chief Minister Punjab Mohsin Naqvi saying he was not doing his actual job of conducting free and fair elections. “Mohsin Naqvi has a job of two and a half months and then he has to return home.

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Hassan Askari had done a good job as caretaker Chief Minister of Punjab”, he observed. He said that according to the constitution of Pakistan, the governor of Punjab should announce the election schedule, Ch Parvez Elahi said that country’s judiciary was independent and dispensing justice. “Otherwise, these people [government] would have unleashed a reign of terror and lawlessness. Meanwhile, PML-Q leaders Tariq Bashir Cheema and Chaudhry Salik Hussain Wednesday termed Chaudhry Parvez Elahi’s move to reelect party’s leadership as unconstitutional and illegal.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Thursday afternoon, Tariq Bashir Cheema said decisions regarding the leadership of party will be made in party’s General Council meeting that would be held soon with Chaudhry Shujat Hussain in the chair. He said Parvez Elahi cannot change the leadership of the party single handedly as the final decision regarding party’s head will be announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan. Chaudhry Salik Hussain said under the constitution of the party only Chaudhry Shujat Hussain can make final decision.

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