President woos wavering PML-Q leaders

Published: April 30, 2011

Zardari offers some 'personal' guarantees to a top PML-Q leader opposed to the party's alliance with govt. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: 

President Asif Ali Zardari on Friday offered some ‘personal’ guarantees to a top Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) leader opposed to the party’s alliance with the government, virtually sealing a power-sharing deal between the ruling PPP and the PML-Q.

PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain took Faisal Saleh Hayat, hitherto one of the most vocal critics of the emerging alliance, to a meeting with the president to seek some more assurances from him.

The most significant among the guarantees by the president was a promise that Hayat’s electoral rival, Syeda Abida Hussain, would not be  given the PPP nomination to contest the 2013 elections from their shared constituency in the Jhang district of Punjab.

Though little details of the meeting emerged, officials privy to the interaction after an overnight meeting between Zardari and Shujaat said the offer was good enough to get Hayat to agree to the deal.

“After this last hindrance is removed, it is a done deal and both sides may sign a written agreement in a couple of days,” said an official familiar with the matter, eliminating whatever doubts were still there after Thursday’s meeting.

Besides Hayat’s opposition, the PML-Q had also sought the president’s assurances on some other key national issues in what appeared to be an attempt to make the deal look like something acceptable to the party’s voters.

Carving a new province out of Punjab was amongst the things agreed between the top leaders from both sides. The division of Punjab might hurt the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the political opponent of both PPP and PML-Q.

According to officials from both sides, a commission of prominent politicians would be established to evolve a mechanism for the creation of new provinces including one of Hazara region in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

The president, according to reports by some private television channels, had also promised the PML-Q leadership that the Higher Education Commission (HEC) would not be devolved to the provinces as per initial plans to implement the 18th amendment.

Insiders said a draft agreement spelling out the details of political cooperation between the two parties had already been finalised and might be signed by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and Shujaat in the next 36 to 72 hours.

The PML-Q would then be joining the federal cabinet, possibly next week.

It was, however, not clear whether the two new allies would also push for stealing the government from the PML-N in Punjab. Gilani said in Multan earlier in the day that there were no such plans but sources close to the president said ‘anything is possible’.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 30th, 2011.

Reader Comments (18)

  • Chilli
    Apr 30, 2011 - 10:16AM

    A new episode of Puppet Show of politicians is underway. I think their masters in US and UK forced them to tie the knot. Get ready for new episodes of “Fooling Pakistan” about to be released in all assemblies.Recommend

  • straight shooter
    Apr 30, 2011 - 12:16PM

    wow Zardari’s ‘personal’ guarantees, that’s something to trust now………
    thing is Pervaiz (azab-e) Elahi has no choice- his son is up to his head in corruption case, if Mr. ex-chief Minister doesn’t give in nicely, it will be his son who will pay
    and circus goes on while Pakistan sinks in in exponential terms on hourly (not daily) basisRecommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Apr 30, 2011 - 1:10PM

    The President is too busy making deals to cling on to power, while the country is dying a very slow and painful death due to Infaltion, unemployment, energy crises, lack of education and social welfare etc………..
    Some Leaders ! This Country is capable of producing!!! I feel sorry for the People of Pakistan to have Leaders who Lack any vision and Skills in Governance and management of the Country in the interest of its people!!!Recommend

  • Waqas
    Apr 30, 2011 - 2:40PM

    In the university we continuously hold meetings were political debates are held, so far I’ve not encountered any person appreciating PPP gov’t. Despite this anger and animosity in public for PPP gov’t, what makes them able to keep their chairs in Pakistan’s prestigious offices?Recommend

  • Apr 30, 2011 - 3:49PM

    Zardari wants the expertise of Monis Elahi… How could he leave such a remarkable fellow out of the gameRecommend

  • Shabeeb
    Apr 30, 2011 - 4:34PM

    Zardari called PML-Q Qateel League when BB died.Recommend

  • Latif
    Apr 30, 2011 - 5:59PM

    @Hedgefunder:
    What should PPP do according to your wishful thinking

    Resign and sit in opposition.
    Allow PMLN( that will be acceptable to you as you like that party) to negotiate deal with all other parties to form govt. With 91 for PMLN (PPP 126) in NA, blackmailing will be more, will that solve the problems? ask from yourself how?
    3 have fresh elections: what will be out come? PMLN will win in central Pumjab, PPP , PMLQ and PMLN will have split mandate, Sindh PMLN zero, PMLF 1, PML Q zero and MQM same or more, Balochistan Nationalist will win majority seats who boycotted elections last year, few to PPP, PMLN, PMLQ. In KPK mandate will be split, In Gilgit Balochistan split mandate: I am sure are you are living wit wishes that PMLN or IK will win with bhari mandate, if that is the case then re-election till you get positive results i.e. PPP is out.

    4 Remember that politics in our country is very profitable business irrespective of party affiliations. do not have heartburn unless things are not according to constitution.
    5. you already have every experiment in country including one unit in country, martial laws, let democratic process and we people should kick in or lick out people.
    6. if you are hating PPP b/c they were responsile for splitting country in 2 and not in 5 parts—please please read 6 points of Shaikh Mujib. If you agree with that then please give all that to all provinces now.
    Please be objective .people have voted PP in power, you killed their party chief , PP was willing to fight elections in one week and you postpone election , still they were able to pull out. Watch Taliban khan interview on Aljazira where he gives credit to PP to win election in the face of all rigging by army chief Mushraf .
    Way out freedom of expression( including talking against establishment) , free and fair election( no compromise ) and respect of mandate whether you like it or not.
    Pakistan will go forward as long as you respect other peoples mandate in Federation. country has not died before and will not die as long every one, like you and me are doin right thingsRecommend

  • Basheer Ahmed
    Apr 30, 2011 - 7:42PM

    The political scenario of the country is depicting a different picture. Various talks are underway. The current circumstances of the country demand a collective effort of all political parties for the benefit of the common masses. The government is working on it and bringing all political parties on the same page. Talks are underway with all major stakeholders including the PML-Q, MQM and JUI-F and these political parties should also show political maturity and concern to bring the country out of the crisis it confronts. It seems that the ongoing talks will be fruitful. The PPP-led government is trying to facilitate other political parties to cultivate a democratic tradition on the barren soil of Pakistani politics. For adjusting its allies, the government is going to expand the size of the federal cabinet. The cabinet expansion would be made in accordance with the constitution. The government by working on its reconciliation policy will take on board all political forces on national issues. The present move is likely to strengthen the roots of democracy and bring prosperity.Recommend

  • Abdul Ali
    Apr 30, 2011 - 7:56PM

    Let us give credit where it is due: Zardari has turned out to be a very shrewed politician.He made alliances when needed,he broke alliances when it did not suite his strategy.He has out-witted nearly all political parties…….inspite of passage of over a year,there has been no local bodies election etc. Nawaz Shariff has been totally out witted and now PML-N is in a corner Recommend

  • saleem
    Apr 30, 2011 - 8:06PM

    It is a right move to bring stability in the political situation as PML(N) and MQM do not want to join the government. If people have any grievances with the current setup they can vote them out in the election of 2013. I mean they are not doing something which the constitution of Pakistan does not allow!Recommend

  • mansoor
    Apr 30, 2011 - 10:05PM

    ……….SHAME………SHAME………and just SHAME .Recommend

  • Akhtar
    Apr 30, 2011 - 10:05PM

    PML a party wishing to divide pakistan again not happynwith anything rebuking president like gutter people a arrogant spoil brat nisa chudrai . a party with no solution,zardari was right in keeping CJ out look what is he doing with 17 member benches pontificating on petty officials transfers so zardari has taught them a lessonRecommend

  • Fayyaz Haider
    Apr 30, 2011 - 11:33PM

    Only fools and corrupt can believe in this gang of thugs. All are exposed. What they did in last three years. Only corruption and inflation. A bloody revolution is needed. No PPP, PML(N), PML(Q), ANP, MQM or Mullas. All thugs should be punished on roads by the public otherwise public should wait and see their childern die with hunger.Recommend

  • Akhtar
    Apr 30, 2011 - 11:53PM

    hand the country to china or IndiaRecommend

  • khurram shahzad raja
    May 1, 2011 - 12:01AM

    politicians are same all over the world;they promise to make bridges even when there are no rivers.however in our country.they have proven themselves to be opportunist and of course very good and loving fathers.They can throw the whole country when it comes to their own son.unfortunately the rivals too, i mean PML N too have disappointed the people of pakistan .i sincerely believe that we need new players and new rules of the game.
    God bless PakistanRecommend

  • parvez
    May 1, 2011 - 12:43AM

    Come into my parlour said the spider to the fly.Recommend

  • Mirza
    May 1, 2011 - 1:26AM

    @Fayyaz Haider:
    If people eliminate all these parties which you mentioned then most of the Pakistanis would be dead. This is the true face of Pakistan whether one likes it or not.

    The degradation of civil and democratic values is alarmingly shameful that when an army usurper dictator Mush ruled for almost a decades with the help of PML, and MQM, everything was fine. Now when an elected govt makes an alliance with these same parties, it becomes a swear word.

    How much Pakistanis need basic lessons of civic and democracy, one can never over emphasize.

    Mirza, USARecommend

  • saleem
    May 1, 2011 - 1:27AM

    @Fayyaz Haider: Cool down man :) I am sure you are a teenager.Recommend

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