LAHORE: The Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) is toeing wait-and-see policy in the current fluid political situation, wherein the opposition parties are actively working to bring a no-confidence move against Prime Minister Imran Khan, mainly eyeing defection by the ruling party allies.

“The PML-Q is confident enough that any situation arising out of the opposition parties’ hyper activity against the PTI government will further strengthen the position of the allied party (Q) as its importance will increase in both the National and Punjab assemblies,” a party source told Dawn on Sunday.

The source says that in case of a no-trust motion in the National Assembly, the PTI government will be bound to rely on any two of its three allies – PML-Q, Balochistan Awami Parti (BAP) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P). The PTI MNAs number has further reduced after the death of MNA Khial Zaman Orakzai from Hangu, he adds.

While in the Punjab Assembly, he says, the PML-Q is the sole allied party that can save its senior partner’s government with its 10 votes. The PTI is short of four votes in the Punjab Assembly to fend for itself.

In the ever-changing political landscape, the PML-Q is just monitoring the situation and has decided to do so on weekly basis, says the party source.

A PML-Q leader tells Dawn that the PTI government has no threat from the dissident group led by Jahangir Khan Tareen because they can neither vote against their own party, nor abstain from voting in case the opposition brings a no-confidence motion or compels Prime Minister Imran Khan to take vote of confidence afresh.

“Any deviation from the party line in voting for the prime minister or the chief minister, will lead to disqualification of all the renegades,” the party leader says, quoting the relevant law.

“Various options are being considered by the opposition parties causing some suspense, but they have so far failed to come up with any solid plan of action,” he says.

Meanwhile, the PML-Q held a meeting of its top leaders chaired by the party president Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain on Sunday and took a strong stance that the PTI should take the allied parties’ suggestions seriously as political difficulties could arise for the ruling party owing to delay in the resolution of problems being faced by the masses.

“The allied parties’ elected members are answerable to their voters in their respective constituencies,” the party leader reminds.

He says the PML-Q leadership was annoyed at PTI government’s failure in controlling unbridled price-hike and the recent increase in the petroleum and power tariffs.

Another Q leader claims that the party leaders in the meeting were of the opinion that all channels should be kept open and there should be no deadlock, neither with the ruling PTI, nor the opposition.

The PML-Q meeting reiterated confidence in the Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Parvez Elahi, who was given mandate to take party level decisions. Mr Elahi took the party leaders into confidence with regard to his meetings with the opposition leaders, including Shehbaz Sharif, Asif Ali Zardari and Maulana Fazlur Rehman.

Meanwhile, Governor Chaudhry Sarwar met federal ministers Chaudhry Moonis Elahi, retired Brig Ejaz Shah and Ghulam Sarwar Khan at a horse-dance show at Nankana Sahib, where they discussed political and governance issues.

The governor also discussed the matters pertaining to the party, government and the current politics with the federal ministers, a source privy to the meeting says.

Published in Dawn, February 21st, 2022

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