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November 27, 2020

Imran’s visit to Chaudhrys allays their concerns

Top Story

November 27, 2020

LAHORE: he Chaudhrys have demanded Prime Minister Imran Khan treat the major coalition partner, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), with the respect it deserves, and urged him not to pay attention to the rumour-mongers. PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussein and Speaker Punjab Assembly Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, in a meeting with Premier Imran Khan at their residence on Wednesday, conveyed to the visitor that they had been in power many a time in the past, and they always showed loyalty to their government.

The PML-Q chief told prime minister, "We have no grievances after you came to our home. We are with you. We fought the elections together with the PTI. We will be with you for five years.”

Prime Minister Imran Khan paid a special visit to the PML-Q leadership weeks after his government was criticised for not showing respect to the allies, particularly the PML-Q, which was its main coalition partner in Punjab with 10 MPAs in the House of 371. The PTI stands at top in Punjab with 179 seats, and it attained the figure of 186 with the help of the PML-Q.

The Chaudhrys had turned down an invitation for attending a reception from the PM in Islamabad a few weeks ago and the party stalwarts like Tariq Bashir Cheema and Chaudhry Moonis Elahi had expressed their concerns through tweets and TV interviews regarding the indifferent attitude of the PM. “We want respect, not reception,” stated a PML-Q leader when party had decided not to attend the event.

On Wednesday, the PM paid visit to the PML-Q leadership in Lahore and inquired about the health of Chaudhry Shujaat Hussein, former PM and head of the PML-Q, a party with 5 seats in National Assembly and 10 in Punjab.

The PM held meeting with the PML-Q leadership in two sessions. In the first session, Ch Shujaat, Ch Pervaiz Elahi, Federal Minister Tariq Bashir Cheema, MNAs Moonis Elahi, Saalik Hussain and Hussain Elahi, and Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar were present. In the second session, which continued for nearly 25 minutes, only Chaudhry Shujaat and Pervaiz Elahi met the PM. Source said that during the meeting, the Chaudhrys made it clear that their loyalty with the governments in the past had been unquestionable. They never ditched their partners, whether it was Nawaz Sharif or Pervez Musharraf, the PM was told.

They conveyed to the PM that they remained associated with the government till the end and even cited the example of Nawaz Sharif who, according to them, ditched them on different occasions but nothing such was done from their side. Besides, the party leadership also told the PM that some elements, particularly those who had joined the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) after quitting the PML-Q, were active in creating misunderstandings between the allies. They said that some ministers, whose performance was questionable, accuse the PML-Q leadership of creating hurdles in their working.

Sources said the PM assured their hosts of having 'direct' coordination with them. Sources said the PM said that he had been busy in the past due to which he could not visit them, but he would ensure that there were regular contacts in future. Both sides agreed to move ahead together and address the issues related to governance jointly.

When contacted, a senior PML-Q leader, requesting anonymity, told The News that no demand regarding any ministry for Chaudhry Moonis Elahi came under discussion. He said the meeting mainly focused on maintaining a good coordination and continuing the relationship on the principle of 'mutual respect'.