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PML-Q not out of trouble yet

November 09, 2008

ISLAMABAD, Nov 8: Although the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Q) has managed to avert a split for now, after a meeting on Friday between party president Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and a group of party elders led by Hamid Nasir Chattha, it does not seem to be out of the woods yet.

According to sources privy to recent developments, including a series of meetings among disgruntled elders, the accord reached between the two groups had paved the way for elimination of Chaudhrys and their supporters from top party offices in the next election.

They contended that while Chaudhry Shujaat had voluntarily withdrawn from the contest, secretary-general Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Punjab president Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi and provincial secretary-general Chaudhry Zahiruddin also stood disqualified as they had completed two consecutive terms. The proposed supervisory committee is headed by Chaudhry Shujaat, but its other members — Mr Chattha and Gohar Ayub Khan — have been calling for an early election in the party minus chaudhrys.

The committee, which will be set up after another meeting between Chaudhry Shujaat and Mr Chattha early next week, will comprise mostly stalwarts of the anti-Pervaiz Elahi group.

Another worry nagging the party is that so far it has not notified the list of general council members of some 2,000 delegates, 200 members of the central working committee and 30 members of the central executive committee.

It could create problems in the next election.

The party, the sources feared, might further splinter into pro-Chaudhry and anti-Chaudhry factions. “If this happens, it will be in keeping with the Muslim League’s tradition,” one of the observers quipped.