PML-Q members seek end to partnership with PPP
04 January, 2013
ISLAMABAD: As the general elections approach cracks are appearing in relations between the Pakistan People's Party and the Pakistan Muslim League-Q. The PML-Q leaders Thursday blasted its major coalition partner PPP as being 'not trustworthy' and asked their central leadership to say good-bye to the government.
At a high-level meeting chaired by Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain at the PML-Q Secretariat the party members expressed serious reservations over partnership with the PPP and demanded an end to it ahead of the forthcoming elections.
PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Deputy Prime Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi assured them that their reservations would be conveyed to the PPP.
Addressing the meeting, Ch Shujaat, however, declared the coalition with the PPP will continue and seat-to-seat adjustment will be made with the PPP in the coming elections.The consultative meeting of the PML-Q leadership lasted for five hours in which the country's political situation and coalition with the PPP were discussed in detail.
For the first time not a single federal minister, minister of state or adviser belonging to PML-Q attended the cabinet meeting though they were present in Islamabad.Earlier, during the meeting, some senior leaders of the PML-Q expressed the view that some elements in the PPP were trying to sabotage the coalition and if the main ruling party wants to save the coalition then it will have to take action against such elements.
The meeting adopted a resolution of no confidence against the Election Commission of Pakistan and dubbed it a "spokesman" of the PML-N. "We cannot accept the N-League's election commission as it failed to check rigging in the bye-elections. There is no chance of free, fair and transparent elections in the presence of N-League-sponsored election commission," the resolution said. It demanded completion of election reforms before the general elections.
According to sources, the PML-Q leaders in their speeches said they have supported the government in difficult times to save the system. "We have also saved the PPP from politicalblackmailing of the smaller parties but the PPP never reciprocated our gesture," they said.
Sources said senior leaders of the PML-Q also complained that on the one hand the PML-N was taking our members into party fold and on the other the PPP, our coalition partner, is doing the same.
Federal minister Sheikh Waqas Akram spoke bitterly against coalition with the PPP, saying the PML-Q made a mistake by lending support to the party whose government was about to fall. "We have saved the PPP government and also paid a heavy price for it," he added.
He was of the opinion that the PML-Q should come out of the coalition government without any delay.Another federal minister, Nauman Langria, also come hard on the government and said the coalition with the PPP means reduction of 20,000 votes per seat. "We will contest election in a better way without PPP," he viewed.
Former minister of state Asjad Malhi also supported the idea of ending partnership with the PPP.Another federal minister, Sardar Talib Nakai, said if the leadership allowed him, he was ready to resign as minister. He said Minister for Water and Power Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar has promised on July 21 to give quota in jobs in Wapda but now he is not ready to talk on this issue.
Secretary General PML-Q, Sindh, Aleem Adil Sheikh also opened the floodgates of the complaints against the PPP and said that in Sindh the PPP targeted our leaders and took away Sherazis and Malkanis from the PML-Q while in Khyber-Puktunkhawa they took our legislator Nighat Orakzai into the PPP.
Ch Shujaat said that the PML-Q believes that elections should be held on time, as postponement of election would be a national tragedy. He, however, said there is need for election reforms before elections.
The PML-Q president also expressed his party's reservations about the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), saying a majority of political parties have serious reservations about the ECP, except the PML-N. 'There is need to remove these reservations," he added.
Ch Pervaiz Elahi said the ECP has failed to check rigging and irregularities in the bye-elections. "We have serious reservations on this count," he added.He said the Punjab government has used all the postal ballots for his candidates but when we raised this issue with the Election Commission they simply ignored our complaints.
On the issue of alliance with the PPP government, he said the coalition with the PPP will continue and the PML-Q will remain part of the government.He said the party has launched the campaign for the creation of South Punjab and Hazara provinces and is working with the people of both the areas for fulfilling their demand.
Secretary General PML-Q Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed warned that the PML-Q would not allow any one to steal our mandate. He said the PML-Q is a major political party of the country and it believes in issue-based politics. "The people of Pakistan are with us due to our performance," he added.
Mushahid Hussain said there is need for all political parties to evolve a joint strategy to deal with economy, national issues, power crisis and law and order.The meeting was attended, among others, by PML-Q president Khyber-Puktunkhawa, secretary general PML-Q Sindh Aleem Adil Sheikh, provincial minister of finnce Balochistan Asim Kurd, federal ministers Sheikh Waqas Akram, Nauman Langrial, Talib Nakai and senior party leaders and party ticket-holders.