GUJRAT: Former prime minister and president of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain says elections issue could be put aside for the time being and efforts should be first made to improve the country’s (economic) condition.

He was addressing the participants of a ceremony held on the on 42nd death anniversary of his father and veteran Muslim League leader Chaudhry Zahoor Elahi at his Gujrat residence here on Monday.

He said he had always been pledging on his father’s death anniversary for over 40 years that he would never support an oppressor and would support the oppressed, adding that he would give the same advice to his sons.

The ailing politician, who was brought to the venue on a wheelchair, reiterated that politicians should shun all their differences in the country’s larger interest.

Zahoor Elahi’s death anniversary attended by few family members

Shujaat said he never criticised his politically estranged cousin Parvez Elahi, but talking openly on issues has been his habit, which he also wanted his sons to follow.

No other family member, except Shujaat and his two sons, attended the event. However, ex-PML-Q MPA Abdullah Yousaf Warraich and party’s Gujrat president Ali Abrar Jaura were present on the stage.Speaking to the gathering, former federal minister Salik Hussain said his father (Shujaat Hussain) had always rendered sacrifices for the family’s unity and shown benevolencedespite of the “wrongdoings” committed by some others in the family.

He said his father had initiated the talks with the 13-party alliance (PDM) to secure the office of Punjab chief minister for Parvez Elahi, but the latter deviated from the commitment within an hour.

However, he said, his father decided to stick to the commitment he had made to these parties, regretting that the other camp in the family (led by Parvez Elahi) had a habit of not listening to others, which caused the differences.

“We are still well-wishers of Parvez Elahi” he said, and added that regretted that some of the family members were not present on the stage today.

Shafay Hussain, the PML-Q Punjab secretary general rapped previous PTI-led government for “plundering the national wealth”.

A number of traditional local political allies of the Chaudhrys were also conspicuous by their absence as they are siding with the Parvez Elahi camp.

However, a number of new faces, who had been in the the rival camp of the Chaudhars, were present at there, including PML-N backed ex-mayor of Gujrat Municipal Corporation Tahir Maanda, PPP former Gujrat city president Rizwan Dildar.

Published in Dawn, September 26th, 2023

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