LAHORE, Aug 11: Simmering with discontent over the PPP-PML-Q alliance for the last 15 months or so, PPP stalwart from Gujrat and Federal Water and Power Minister Ahmed Mukhtar spoke his heart out against his arch rivals, the Chaudhrys, vowing to take them on.
“I will chase the Chaudhrys out,” Mukhtar said but stopped short of saying from their alliance with the PPP. “I will do so as I can go to any extent to get the job done,” he said while talking to reporters here on Saturday.
The PML-Q took a strong exception to Mukhtar’s statement suspecting that he might be on an ‘agenda’ to sabotage the PPP-PML-Q alliance. “We will make sure that Mukhtar gives an explanation to his party leadership for speaking against the Q leadership,” a PML-Q spokesman told Dawn. He further said: “Had the Q not been part of the coalition the PPP would not have been in power today. Mr Mukhtar is a minister today and he should owe this to the Q.”
But Mukhtar said that his leadership had not stopped him from issuing statements against the Chaudhrys. “Under an agreement, the Chaudhrys can not contest election against me in Gujrat,” he said.
Mukhtar was a strong contender for the slot of prime minister after the Supreme Court disqualified Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. But his way was reportedly blocked by the Chaudhrys.
Apart from this, Mukhtar’s row with PIA CEO-Chairman Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman (retired) cost him all important defence ministry along with the PIA chairmanship that made him unhappy with the leadership.
The PPP of late had issued a show-cause notice to Senator Faisal Raza Abidi for his tirade against the judiciary. The PPP circles are of the view that Mr Mukhtar’s ‘anti-Chaudhrys remarks’ at this stage will further create problems for the party leadership and it may ‘grill’ him for that.
“In a recent meeting the Q leadership – Chaudhry Shujaat Husain and Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi – had discussed about seat-adjustment formula in the next general elections but Mukhtar can turn out to be a major trouble for the alliance to remain intact,” a PPP leader said.
He said President Zardari could not afford annoyance of the Chaudhrys at this stage where his party was fighting on other fronts. “The party co-chairman will ensure that Mr Mukhtar does not repeat his utterances,” the PPP leader said.
PML-Q central information secretary Senator Kamil Ali Agha told Dawn that Mukhtar’s statement reflected of his ‘defeated mind.’ “Through his statement he has revealed his future platform of politics other than PPP,” he said.