LAHORE: The Pakistan Muslim League-Q, a coalition partner of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, believes that there are “some naive players” in Prime Minister Imran Khan’s team who are unable to give him the right advice.
“These naive players were advising PM Khan to establish the writ of the government [by force] during Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s Islamabad sit-in. But the premier proved his wisdom by not accepting the advice of inexperienced players,” PML-Q president Chaudhry Shujaat Husain said here on Saturday.
He said credit went to PM Khan and Interior Minister retired Brig Ijaz Shah for wisely handling the sit-in. “If it wasn’t handled wisely it was impossible to prevent a clash [between the protesters and law enforces],” he added.
This is for the first time that the leadership of the PML-Q — an important ally of the PTI government in the Centre and Punjab — had openly termed the prime minister’s advisers “naive”.
When asked about those “naive” players, a senior leader of the PML-Q said: “PTI hawks in the cabinet who are close to Mr Khan never give him the right advice. Their sole purpose is to create problems for Mr Khan and push him towards aggressive policies, which, at times, backfire.”
Besides, he said, such elements always tried to keep PM Khan away from the Chaudhrys of Gujrat at a time when their counselling could have avoided crises. “Even in the case of Maulana’s Islamabad sit-in, it was the Chaudhrys who played a key role in helping it wrap up peacefully,” he added.
The PML-Q has been in the spotlight since Chaudhry Shujaat suggested PM Khan allow former premier Nawaz Sharif to go abroad for medical treatment unconditionally and also negotiated with Maulana Fazl on behalf of the government. “Since the Chaudhrys are old players in politics and are considered close to the establishment their vocal response on the current political situation speaks volumes about the new developments taking place in the power corridors,” another leader said.
The PML-Q has one ministry in the Centre and two in Punjab. Under an agreement between the PTI and PML-Q, the latter was to be given two ministries in the Centre.
“The PTI is still holding back the second ministry. Even the second ministry in Punjab was given to the PML-Q after its lone minister resigned in protest,” he said.
The PML-Q is also not in favour of vigorously following political cases. “I suggest that PM Imran Khan show a big heart and pay full attention to improving [political] environment and do away with the political cases,” Punjab Assembly Speaker Pervaiz Elahi said in a talk with a private TV news channel. “One has to show magnanimity,” he said.
Special Assistant to the PM on Information Firdous Ashiq Awan was not available for a comment.
Published in Dawn, November 17th, 2019