LAHORE: Chaudhry Parvez Elahi on Tuesday bid adieu to Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Q) and joined hands with the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) as its central president, hours after his membership was terminated by PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain.
According to PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry, who spoke to the media after a meeting between Imran Khan and Parvez Elahi, both leaders considered two options: merging the PML-Q with the PTI or Mr Elahi becoming a part of the PTI.
“The decision was made in favour of the latter option and the former chief minister of Punjab joined the PTI along with 10 MPAs that he had in the dissolved Punjab Assembly,” the PTI spokesperson said.
“The PTI welcomes the new entrants and acknowledges their services to the party’s cause,” he said. He added that the party has also agreed to make Chaudhry Parvez Elahi central president of the party — a seat vacated by Javed Hashmi way back in October 2014, when he was removed from the party by Chairman Imran Khan.
Former CM joins PTI as central president, alongside 10 ex-MPAs, after Chaudhry Shujaat terminates cousin’s PML-Q membership
Parvez Elahi briefly spoke on the occasion, pledging to support Imran Khan through thick and thin. “I have always supported Imran Khan and will do so in the future as well.”
Elahi said no step would be taken that harms the PTI’s reputation, adding that he would work “wherever Imran wishes” for him to.
When asked whether he has been prompted by the establishment to join the PTI, an evasive Elahi responded, “Would not it be better if it were the case? I am a man of compromises and like everyone to work together.”
Split in the making
According to the PML-Q notice, dated Feb 14, Elahi’s party membership was terminated because he did not respond to the show-cause notice sent to him earlier over his comments about merging the PML-Q with another party.
The notice added that Elahi could not associate himself with the party anymore. “Elahi has once again violated the party’s code of conduct by ignoring the show cause notice sent to him,” the notice reads.
Since March last year, the Chaudhrys of Gujrat had an estranged relationship in light of events that led up to the no-trust vote against former prime
minister Imran Khan. Shujaat Hussain had sided with the PDM, but his cousin Elahi crossed over to the PTI.
In the backdrop of these differences, rumours gathered momentum in early January that Mr Elahi would merge with the PTI, vexing the elder Chaudhry who had been running the party for 19 years since its inception.
In Jan this year when Parvez Elahi hinted at merging the PML-Q with the Imran-led PTI, Shujaat Hussain responded with a show cause notice the next day, asking Pavez Elahi to explain his conduct.
Parvez Elahi responded a week later by convening the general council at the Muslim League House in Lahore, removing Shujaat Hussain from the party presidentship and replacing him with his younger brother Wajahat Hussain on January 26.
The meeting also removed Tariq Bashir Cheema, a close aide of Shujaat Hussain, and elected Kamil Ali Agha as secretary general – taking the family differences beyond redemption.
Subsequently, the ECP ruled in favour of Mr Hussain when it was approached against his removal from party post and also equipped him with powers to terminate the membership of Mr Elahi.
Published in Dawn, February 22nd, 2023