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Updated 12 Apr, 2020 07:23am

PML-N’s Rafique brothers in surprise call on Pervaiz Elahi

LAHORE: A meeting between opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) senior leaders Khawaja Saad Rafique and brother Khawaja Salman Rafique and Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, whose Pakistan Mulsim League-Q (PML-Q) is part of the coalition led by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), on Saturday must have sounded alarm bells within the PTI which is already experiencing fissures in its fold.

The PML-N has, for the past few months, reportedly adopted a policy not to utter a single word against the Chaudhries of Gujrat, who are important allies of the PTI government at the Centre and in Punjab.

In the current situation, the PML-N is lambasting the role of PTI senior leader Jahangir Khan Tareen and federal minister Khusro Bakhtiar in the sugar crisis. The PML-N, however, has not said anything about Pervaiz Elahi’s son Chaudhry Moonis Elahi, whose name has also surfaced in the inquiry report on the sugar crisis.

Saad Rafique, who is considered a close confidant of PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, called on Mr Elahi and reminded him about the close and strong family ties between them and stressed the need to take forward the age-old relations. “Forefathers of both families had close and strong relations and we need to take these age-old family ties forward,” Mr Rafique said.

Meeting held to strengthen behind-the-scenes relations between opposition party and PML-Q

Since both the Khawaja brothers have recently been released on bail, sources claim that they had met Pervaiz Elahi on the instructions of the PML-N top leaders to strengthen the behind-the-scenes relations between the PML-N and the PML-Q. “This meeting assumes special significance as Jahangir Tareen’s relations with Prime Minister Imran Khan are turning sour,” a source said.

Mr Elahi told the Khawaja bro­thers that it was high time that all political parties set aside politics for the time being and fight against the dreadful coronavirus.

“Humanity wants us all politicians to get united and fight against the coronavirus pandemic as one nation,” said Mr Elahi.

The Khawaja brothers also inquired about the health of former prime minister Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and expressed their good wishes for the senior PML-Q leader.

Discussing the prevailing situation in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the Khawaja brothers commended Mr Elahi for bringing all political parties on one forum through a video link meeting with the special parliamentary committee of the Punjab Assembly to discuss the pandemic and measures to ensure public safety and contain the spread of the virus.

Punjab Assembly secretary Mohammad Khan Bhatti was also present in the meeting.

Published in Dawn, April 12th, 2020

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