Neither left the govt nor joined opposition, clarifies PML-Q's Parvez Elahi

Published March 16, 2022
In this file photo, Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervez Elahi gestures during a meeting with Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi in Lahore. — Photo courtesy Twitter/File
In this file photo, Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervez Elahi gestures during a meeting with Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi in Lahore. — Photo courtesy Twitter/File

Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) leader Parvez Elahi on Wednesday clarified that his party had neither left the government nor decided to support the no-trust move against PM Imran Khan despite hinting heavily just a day earlier that his party was much closer to the opposition alliance than the government.

In a no-holds-barred interview with Hum News anchor Meher Bokhari that aired on Tuesday night, Elahi had said that the government's allies were "100 per cent" tilted towards the opposition and that the opposition had the support of “more than required” lawmakers to pass the no-confidence motion, warning that there are “plenty of surprises in store”.

He had also claimed to have been offered Punjab’s chief ministership as well as electoral alliance — including seat-to-seat adjustment — by the opposition alliance, adding that the government had yet to make that offer. Furthermore, the PML-Q leader had made a scathing assessment of the government and PM Imran's politics, saying that the premier never learned how to build relationships.

However, Elahi struck a more conciliatory tone today as in a statement issued through his party he defined PM Imran as an "honest" person whose "intentions are good".

With regards to his own party, he said the PML-Q still was a government "ally and an independent party".

"There are different opinions within a party but decisions are made through mutual consultation," he added.

The PML-Q leader advised the government that holding consultation with its allies would work in the government's favour.

He also said that his party had been highlighting public issues "from day one" and did not begin to identify these only in recent days.

Elahi's remarks of today and yesterday come as the government and opposition vie for the support of PTI's allies on the no-trust move.

The PML-Q has assumed much more importance since the filing of the no-confidence motion as in order for the move to succeed, the opposition would require its votes in the NA, where the party has five seats.

Earlier this week, Elahi told media persons that his party had made its decision regarding the vote on the no-confidence resolution. But, he added, the party would announce the decision after a final round of consultations with other allies in the ruling coalition.

In a press conference later on Wednesday, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry welcomed Elahi's statement, saying he hoped the government's allies would stick to their mandate.

Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar, who also addressed the press conference, denied reports that anyone was "blackmailing the government".

"Our allies have stood with us but they also have their own identity and do their own politics. You must have read Parvez Elahi's statement today in which he has said what every Pakistani says — Imran Khan is an honest leader. They are saying they stand with the government."

He added that the PTI "agreed with everything" Elahi said.

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