GUJRAT: The Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) has vowed to continue supporting the Pakis­tan Tehreek-i-Insaf governments at the Centre and in Punjab amid reports of possible no-confidence move by the opposition parties.

“Prime Minister Imran Khan is an honest man and has sincere intentions to serve the country and masses,” said Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, senior PML-Q leader and Punjab Assembly Speaker.

He was speaking to the participants of a gathering in his hometown here on Sunday. It was organised by local businessman Alhaj Amjad Farooq of the PML-N who announced joining the PML-Q.

When Dawn sought his reaction to media reports that the joint opposition might offer him the Punjab chief minister slot in return for PML-Q support to dislodge Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, Mr Elahi said he did not see any no-trust move coming against the PTI government in near future.

The PML-Q has 10 members in the Punjab Assembly and five in the National Assembly. Usman Buzdar was elected chief minister in 2018 with a thin margin of just three votes with the support of the PML-Q and some independent MPAs as the PTI was runner-up in Punjab.

Mr Elahi’s announcement, for the time being, clouds the in-house change scenario in Punjab. Defending PML-Q’s backing for the PTI, he said: “Mr Khan wants to do something for the country. We as allies will stay together at every stage. The PTI government actually lacks in experience [in running the government] but we will guide them for the betterment of Pakistan.”

Criticising former chief minister Shehbaz Sharif’s 10-year rule in Punjab, Mr Elahi said some people had thought that the PML-Q would end politically after military ruler Pervez Musharraf’s departure, but now his party with only “11 members” in the Punjab Assembly had put them (PML-N) in trouble.

Pervaiz Elahi said that due to his efforts at least 70 new Rescue 1122 stations were being established in various parts of Punjab, including three more in Gujrat, whereas a sum of Rs4 billion was being provided for purchase of new ambulances. He said Wazirabad Institute of Cardiology would also be improved soon.

The joining of the PML-Q by Amjad Farooq is being termed a major blow to the PML-N in Gujrat district ahead of local government elections later this year.

Federal Minister for Water Resources Moonis Elahi, former ministers Chaudhry Wajahat Hussain and Mian Imran Masood and others were present on the occasion.

Published in Dawn, February 7th, 2022

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