GUJRAT: The country may see yet another faction of the Pakistan Muslim League as a strong group of lawmakers within the PML-Q is seriously weighing the option of launching its own party after quitting the Q.

Party MNA from Gujrat Chaudhry Hussain Elahi has already left the party.

Well-placed sources in the PML-Q told Dawn a discussion is underway within a group of party lawmakers on the matter of quitting the party after their differences with party chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain over support to the Sharifs could not be resolved.

The Parvez Elahi-led group of party lawmakers is in favour of going with the PTI as an ally instead of joining hands with the PML-N.

Instead of merging their group into the PTI, these lawmakers are in favour of launching a new faction of the PML as Parvez Elahi is expected to announce the group’s future course of action.

Before doing so, the group leaders plan to hold a meeting with the party chief upon his return to Lahore from Islamabad and ask him to withdraw support to the PML-N or they would quit the party.

A senior leader said differences within the top leadership had almost reached to the point of no return but some elements in the party and the family were active to resolve the differences.

Former federal minister Chaudhry Wajahat Hussain, the younger brother of Chaudhry Shujaat, told some local journalists that the PML-Q would remain intact as some ‘children’ in the family were causing problems for their elders.

“I have been in severe stress for the last three months due to the situation as it was known to all that Chaudhry Shujaat was unwell due to which the children were making decisions as per their own whims and wishes,” he told journalists.

Federal minister Chaudhry Salik Hussain and his brother Chaudhry Shafaay Hussain (scions of Shujaat) had called on Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz on Monday last whereas Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had called on Shujaat on Thursday. The meetings strengthened reports that Shujaat’s sons might contest the next elections either in an alliance or on the PML-N ticket from Gujrat.

Salik Hussain was elected MNA from Chakwal in by-poll after his uncle Parvez Elahi vacated the Chakwal seat he won in 2018 and retained the Punjab Assembly seat. Shafaay Hussain on the other hand is lobbying to contest from Gujrat city.

Following Hussain Elahi’s decision to quit the PML-Q, several party officials belonging to his constituency NA-68 (Jalalpur Jattan-Tanda) have also announced quitting the PML-Q.

Published in Dawn,June 10th, 2022

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