LAHORE: There is no immediate threat to the PTI-PML-Q coalition after the latter expressed satisfaction over the ruling party’s promise to implement an agreement between them.

“There is no threat to our partnership with the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) after it started implementing its agreement with us,” PML-Q MNA Moonis Elahi told Dawn on Wednesday.

Mr Elahi had spearheaded the talks with the PTI last week and given a week’s deadline for implementation of the agreement. The PML-Q had threatened to review its alliance with the government in case the PTI did not honour its commitment.

“At the moment, we are satisfied with the steps taken by the government with regards to our grievances conveyed to the PTI team last week,” he said and hoped that the coalition partners would complete their constitutional term of five years.

When asked about the PML-N’s offer to join hands for a future set-up in the wake of fissures in the coalition partners, the MNA said: “I don’t think the situation has come to the point that can benefit the opposition.”

He denied the two parties were in touch. “The leadership of both parties is not in contact.”

In its ‘final’ round of talks last week, a PTI delegation led by Jehangir Tareen had agreed to empower the PML-Q’s ministers – two in Punjab and one at the Centre –besides giving it share in administrative powers in three districts – Gujrat, Chakwal and Bahawalpur and as many tehsils of Malakwal, Phalia and Daska – where the Chaudhrys of Gujrat have strong political base.

A PTI source said the PML-Q might be given another ministry at the Centre according to the agreement the two parties signed after the 2018 general polls. The PML-Q, of late, had stopped demanding this ministry seeing PM Khan’s reluctance.

“After the new developments, the premier is considering giving a second ministry to the PML-Q so that such a situation does not arise in the near future,” he said.

“Our party should not be taken as a mere coalition partner. Our leaders – Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi and Tariq Bashir Cheema – give suggestions to the government for its benefit and our criticism should not be taken negatively,” said PML-Q President Shujaat Hussain in a talk with a lawyers’ delegation headed by Lahore Bar President GA Tariq that called on him at his residence here on Wednesday.

He said “some supporters” of the government were trying to create misunderstandings between the two parties.

Published in Dawn, January 23rd, 2020

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