LAHORE:The Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), a coalition partner of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), has explicitly blamed some advisers of the government whom they called “enemies in the guise of friends” for giving wrong advice to Prime Minister Imran Khan on important matters.
Without naming the purported advisers, PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, who has recently recovered from an illness, asked PM Khan on Monday to be “aware of the wrong advice of his advisers and political spokespersons as it will only harm him (Imran Khan)”.
The PML-Q also lamented the “sincere” advice the party gave to the premier being rubbished by certain advisers.
“I am telling PM Khan to be careful about the wrong advice of his advisers and political spokespersons. We need to see who is playing whose game,” Mr Shujaat said, claiming that when these advisers gave an opinion to Mr Khan there was always some “angle” to it.
“These advisers spin things according to their plans that only harm Imran Khan. Therefore, the premier should not only be careful but also beware of them,” he advised.
Commenting on the PM’s statement that if he was forced out of office he would become even more dangerous for the opposition and that the premier was consistently interrupted in parliament, Shujaat said: “An enemy in a friend’s guise may have advised PM Khan to say so. Are the treasury members sitting there [incapable] that they let others speak against Imran Khan?”
The PML-Q chief also chided certain advisers who allegedly stopped the premier from acting on the advice given by the allied party. “If we give any advice to the PM, the naïve advisers immediately whisper in Mr Khan’s ear to ignore it,” he claimed, adding that these advisers purposely misguided Mr Khan to achieve their vested interests.
“I ask PM Khan to listen carefully to the advice of those who are sincere with him and not consider them his enemies,” the PML-Q leader stressed.
This is not the first time that Mr Shujaat has targeted the PM’s advisers, especially on the issue of handling the opposition.
“Some naive players in Imran Khan’s team were advising him to establish the writ of the government by force during Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s Islamabad sit-in (in 2019). But the premier displayed wisdom by not heeding the advice and listened to the PML-Q leadership that played a key role in helping it wrap up peacefully. These hawks in the cabinet, who are close to Mr Khan, never give him the right advice. Their sole purpose is to create problems for the PM and push him to adopt aggressive policies, which, at times, backfire,” Shujaat said and also claimed such elements always tried to keep PM Khan away from the PML-Q.
Since the Chaudhrys of Gujrat — Shujaat and Parvez Elahi — are seasoned politicians and believed to be close to the establishment, their vocal take on the current political situation speaks volumes about the developments taking place in the power corridors.
The PML-Q has 10 MPAs in the Punjab Assembly and five MNAs in the Centre. It has a crucial role in case the opposition parties — PML-N and PPP — agree to table a no-confidence motion against the PTI government both in the Centre and Punjab.
Published in Dawn, January 25th, 2022