LAHORE: Led by Jahangir Tareen, a Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf delegation called on Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid leader Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi here on Sunday and discussed with him the PTI-PML-Q alliance’s strategy for the election of speaker, deputy speaker and chief minister in the coming Punjab Assembly.

They also discussed the prospective model of local bodies in Punjab.

Talking to media after the meeting which was also attended by the PTI’s central Punjab president Aleem Khan and Ishaq Khakwani, Mr Tareen said that there was no decision about Punjab chief minister yet and that PTI chairman Imran Khan would announce the candidate at an appropriate time. “There is no hurry.”

Answering a question, Mr Tareen said that as prime minister Imran Khan would live in the house of PM’s military secretary in the staff colony. “All options earlier under consideration have been dropped.”

Tareen holds meeting with Elahi to discuss strategy for election of speaker, deputy speaker & CM of the province

Mr Tareen said that his party and the PML-Q had evolved a strategy for the speaker’s election, claiming that the PTI-PML-Q alliance had attained a clear-cut majority in the 371-member house.

Still, he said, the PTI “is in contact with many PML-N legislators in Punjab who may vote for our joint candidates” in the provincial assembly.

A new era

Mr Tareen said that the PTI would run Punjab in partnership with the PML-Q and introduce a governance system that had never been in place before. “A new era will begin in Punjab.”

Mr Elahi accused former chief minister Shahbaz Sharif of “ruining all institutions” — including bureaucracy, local government and legal systems — during his 10-year rule in Punjab. He said that Mr Sharif had rendered Punjab financially weak and added that the PTI and PML-Q would focus on strengthening institutions.

Mr Elahi, the PTI-PML-Q joint candidate for the office of the speaker, said that he “understands the role of speaker very well and would make efforts to take the entire house along”.

“Our target is to enact legislation that is in the best interest of people and convince opposition members to support such legislation,” he added.

Mr Tareen also blamed Shahbaz Sharif for “ruining Punjab, where neither education nor health services are easily available to the masses and police are committing excesses against poor people and protecting the powerful”.

He said that the PTI would reform police force and strengthen other institutions to ensure that poor people lead a respectable life.

Mr Tareen alleged that Mr Sharif had created a “parallel government through 56 public sector companies” that were now under the National Accountability Bureau scrutiny. “The PTI government will expose wrongdoings Shahbaz Sharif has committed through his blue-eyed bureaucrats in each and every government department,” he asserted.

The PTI leader also indicated that the new administration would also order audit of all government departments in Punjab.

“The PTI will keep its working open and transparent and even strengthen the Right To Information (RTI) Act to facilitate public monitoring of the government,” he said and added that the party would also admit its failures, if any.

Lauding Mr Elahi for his development work in Punjab during 2002-2007, Mr Tareen said both the PTI and PML-Q had agreed to introduce reforms and strengthen local government system in Punjab and ensure that powers were transferred to grass-roots level through legislation.

He said that Shahbaz Sharif had kept all administrative powers confined to himself, but the PTI would ensure that funds were given to local councils to enable them to execute minor and major development projects. “Imran Khan wants a governance system at grass-roots level to ensure that people make decisions according to their own needs,” he added.

Published in Dawn, August 13th, 2018