As Qureshi contemplates, Nawaz accommodates

Published: November 23, 2011

A meeting between Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif and former Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) stalwart Shah Mehmood Qureshi is currently underway at Raiwind. PHOTO: QAZI USMAN/FILE

LAHORE: Former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi seems to have got what he wants from Nawaz Sharif. The contract is drawn up – but he is still to sign on the dotted line.

In a three-hour-long meeting Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz president Nawaz Sharif at Raiwind on Tuesday, Qureshi managed to convince Nawaz to adopt his preferred seat adjustment arrangement in south Punjab and interior Sindh for the 2013 general elections – a situation whereby Qureshi will have a strong chance to oust archrival Prime Minister Gilani in the Multan division.

Sources privy to the discussion in the meeting also said that Qureshi has decided to join the PML-N but has sought two days to contemplate and consult. He will formally announce his decision on November 27 in a large public gathering in Ghotki, Sindh.

In Multan, sources said, Qureshi will contest from his traditional seat, NA-148, along with candidates for the provincial assembly that he will nominate. Meanwhile, in Sindh, the PML-N will award tickets to Qureshi’s nominees for both the national and provincial assemblies. Qureshi will also woo his former party’s parliamentarians hailing from south Punjab and interior Sindh.

This seat adjustment, said sources, was discussed between Qureshi and Mamnoon Hussain, a member of PML-N’s think tank, and immediately approved by Nawaz. The three-hour-long meeting was also attended by PML-N’s top leaders including Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and Deputy General Secretary Ahsan Iqbal.

In a surprisingly accommodating move, Nawaz asked PML-N stalwart Javed Hashmi to withdraw his request for an election 2013 ticket for his son-in-law Zahid Bihar Hashmi. The PML-N leader had earlier asked Nawaz to award Zahid a ticket for PP-202, which falls in Qureshi’s constituency (NA-148). Sources said that Qureshi, who defeated Hashmi in NA-148 in the 2008 general elections, strongly opposed the move but the matter was resolved amicably as Hashmi withdrew and gave the Sharif brothers the go-ahead to openly welcome Qureshi to the PML-N.

Meanwhile, speaking to reporters after the meeting, Qureshi said he had not arrived at a decision yet but his answers seemed to betray where his loyalties were leaning. Asked about Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf, he said that he has had a good relationship with PTI chief Imran Khan since school days but refrained from saying anything more. Qureshi demanded an independent election commission and a neutral set up to conduct free, fair and transparent elections in 2013. “Although the chief justice has said that it is not the judiciary’s function to oversee elections, the Supreme Court should do so,” he said, also demanding that the prime minister and president be removed from office as the nation wanted to oust these ‘corrupt leaders’.

Qureshi stressed on the need of a fair investigation into the Memogate scandal and welcomed Hussain Haqqani’s resignation as Pakistan’s ambassador to the US.

He said that in the meeting they discussed his resignation from the National Assembly and he convinced Nawaz to quit the house and go to the people for the next election.

Criticising Gilani, he said that as prime minister, his function is to oversee national issues but he is inviting councillors and UC nazims of his constituency to his office and instigating them against Qureshi. “Police have surrounded the venue of my public meeting at Ghotki and is harassing organisers while PPP Sindh ministers are visiting the area to see how they can sabotage the meeting,” he alleged.

Edited by Zainab Imam

Published in The Express Tribune, November 23rd, 2011.

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Reader Comments (39)

  • Nov 22, 2011 - 7:34PM

    “I prefer my FM seat warm as I left it” otherwise I have options!

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  • NJ
    Nov 22, 2011 - 7:37PM

    Lota Politics on its way!!

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  • Bhatti
    Nov 22, 2011 - 7:40PM

    Ahhh! every one of them has a price, talk about seat adjustments, power politics, ousted anyone… Where the hell is a common man discussed when our leaders meet? come on folks! Wake up and shatter all their strategies and seat adjustments in the next polls. Pity on them. Sigh!

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  • Pakistani Hindu
    Nov 22, 2011 - 7:42PM

    If Qureshi joins PML(N) then it will prove Qureshi don’t want change, Qureshi wants High Portfolio !

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  • Hamza
    Nov 22, 2011 - 7:48PM

    Just look at the sofa they are sitting on or the fountain behind them. They can do nothing for the common man of Pakistan not even in a million years. Someone so much engrossed in worldly life has no consideration for the hereafter and thus they have no concern for others.Recommend

  • Youth Lahore
    Nov 22, 2011 - 7:57PM

    PML N want to use SMQ as a bridge and after that Kick out but SMQ is a seniour politician he knows well about the future of PML N is already black and he should join neat and clean PTI .Recommend

  • Ali
    Nov 22, 2011 - 8:30PM

    Qureshi dont be ridiculous, join PTI and have a shot at making history under Imran Khan visionary leadership !

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  • hassaan chaudhary
    Nov 22, 2011 - 8:52PM

    CMON qureshi…join PTI..you will regret one day if you join this nawaz league..dont live in this fantasy world…change my name if this nawaz sharif will get a single seat in pakistan next year..
    imran will be the next PM inshallah…

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  • Nov 22, 2011 - 9:16PM

    I think SMQ will make his own group or party and will try to act as a bridge between PML-N, PTI and other groups especially from Sindh such as Ghinwa Bhutto and PML-Q dissidents. This would certainly give him more leverage while he keeps open the options to join some party later, if he cannot put up independently

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  • Lobster
    Nov 22, 2011 - 9:17PM

    @Hamza:
    Qureshi, though clean, is not known for working for people of Pakistan.

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  • Amna
    Nov 22, 2011 - 9:20PM

    As much as I would like Shah Mahmood to join PTI, I also sort of feel that that fact that he is doing all this “eeni meeni mini mo-ing” that he cant seem to make up on which party he wants to join tells up he is just your classic lota and not very “nazriati”…not to mention this is pretty immature for this dude.

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  • King Khan
    Nov 22, 2011 - 9:22PM

    And this poor man paid 5000 income tax.

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  • Adeel
    Nov 22, 2011 - 10:15PM

    It’s a great decision of Qureshi to join PML(N), the party who has served Pakistani nations at it’s very best and will serve with more dedication in future.

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  • Azmat
    Nov 22, 2011 - 10:27PM

    If he joins pti, he is clean and a hero but if he joins PML-N then he is lota and so on…. what a way to bring change… COMON yaar…
    first ever revolution which seeks people and ask people to join………. and who they accept…pml-q lotas who damage pakistan and damaging paksitan with the help of establishment…

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  • Muhammad
    Nov 22, 2011 - 10:39PM

    @hassaan chaudhary:
    it is not possible that imran is next PM of pak

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  • Mirza
    Nov 22, 2011 - 10:41PM

    Qureshi is dancing and both Imran Khan and Sharif are throwing money for his attention. Let us see which of these two runs out of incentives for Qureshi. Once that happens Qureshi would join the more wealthy with more incentives and better promises.

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  • X.J.
    Nov 22, 2011 - 10:46PM

    MR. QURESHI, DO THE RIGHT DUTY TO YOUR COUNTRY, JOIN IMRAN KHAN. PLEASE HELP PUT AN END TO THIS CORRUPT POLITICANS DESTROYING OUR COUNTRY.

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  • PTI supporter
    Nov 22, 2011 - 10:47PM

    Please join the Munfaiq league and leave PTI revolution alone, you are a gold digger..nothing more and nothing less.

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  • Rao Nawaz
    Nov 22, 2011 - 10:49PM

    SMQ please do not join PTI. They are collecting lottas.

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  • Realist. (ORIGINAL)
    Nov 22, 2011 - 11:28PM

    @King Khan:
    Awww you need to search out his returns he paid more than 2 million in 2010 :)

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  • ali
    Nov 22, 2011 - 11:30PM

    NS is not a fool, He was PM twice…I don’t like him but I think he will be the next PM of Pakistan.

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  • Realist. (ORIGINAL)
    Nov 22, 2011 - 11:30PM

    @Youth Lahore:
    You’re toooo Idealistic In your views :)

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  • Dr irfan malik
    Nov 22, 2011 - 11:47PM

    Wrong information imran make youth fool nawaz sharif and family declare how many tax dy give..but now Allah has opened eyes of youth by USA ambassader truth that he met imran and isi chief shuja pasha..mr establishment imran khan using same route as these older politician did USA help to come in govt. But difference in imran khan banazeer and nawaz is that when banazeer and nawaz were used by d establishment dy were young and young people can make fool. Like Amir in cricket but mr imran khan is quite old but still being used ny establishment.inshallah truth will win and people will see..Pakistan zindaabad

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  • Ch Allah Daad
    Nov 23, 2011 - 12:07AM

    Only one party can defeat PPP, and that is PML(N). It has done it twice before and it can do it again. One vote to PTI means one vote less to Nawaz Sharif and one more vote to Zardari.
    Those who would be voting first time, must remember that winning seats is what matters. PML(N) has around 80 elected members and out of these atleast 60 will retain their seats. PPP, thanks to sitting President, majority in Senate and its die hard voters would retain half of their seats. These two parties will start the race with 60 and 50 seats respectively. Where PTI stands between these two Giants is easy to imagine. My request to Imran Khan is to co-operate with PML(N), win some seats with its help, join cabinet as a federal minister. Get some experience and do something great as Federal Minister and in next election, present yourself as Prime Minister. If he had adopted this path many years ago, he would have become our Prime Minister long time ago.

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  • Haris
    Nov 23, 2011 - 12:44AM

    I think PTI should refuse SMQ as a possible candidate. SMQ has proven he cannot be trusted, he will keep being a undependable asset in the future as well. PTI was not made due to ppl like these so we can survive without him and grow!

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Nov 23, 2011 - 12:52AM

    The bottom line of Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Nawaz Shariff that Shah Mahmood Qureshi want to the sitting Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani should not be able to win the next general elections seat from his constituency.

    Nawaz Sharif has assured Shah Mahmood Qureshi on the point raised by him, but can PTI can assure that?

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  • jane
    Nov 23, 2011 - 1:16AM

    @EMK: – youre right ! and few psople haev identified this option ! it’s unlikely he can be a number 2 in someone else’s party – the kind of guy he is , must be number 1 – but if it helps the country , then i say , why not ? – after all like any of the others , he deserves a chance to help too ?

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  • Realist. (ORIGINAL)
    Nov 23, 2011 - 1:26AM

    No offence to anyone But its Hilarious to see PTI Torus begging a FEUDAL LORD to Join their party :P
    These kids take Qureshi as a MAN OF PRINCIPLES.
    For God’s Sake kids he is not a man of principles.

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  • usman
    Nov 23, 2011 - 1:42AM

    Qureshi is not a symbol of change and all while insaf activists want him to join pti, I still pray he joins PML-N

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  • King Khan
    Nov 23, 2011 - 1:49AM

    @Realist original… Please watch “To the point with Shahzeb Khanzada” of Nov 17. PTI showed Shairf family’s income tax returns since 1946.

    I hope u know the difference between sales tax and income tax :P

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  • Acorn Guts
    Nov 23, 2011 - 1:56AM

    I think the words ‘CM Punjab’ would have raised a few eyebrows in Raiwind today .. stuffing and veg on the side of-course.

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  • Lone Star
    Nov 23, 2011 - 2:05AM

    @Lobster:
    Qureshi, though clean, is not known for working for working people of Pakistan!!!

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  • Desperado
    Nov 23, 2011 - 2:48AM

    Qureshi is joining PTI along with his hoard of MPAs and MNAs…. Let the domino effect begin

    Noon league is history!!

    The rise of the new and refereshed rightwing in Pakistan…

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  • Imran
    Nov 23, 2011 - 4:05AM

    The “friends of the poor” sitting in gold plated couches, discussing the revolution.

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  • Haider
    Nov 23, 2011 - 4:40AM

    If Qureshi wants to maintain his credibility and help in a clean and progressive goverment, he will not join Nawaz. A return of nawaz would be no different to what we have experienced with PPP. A third term for Nawaz wouold be same as third term of PPP. He would be better off joining Imran to change the way country has been lead to present dismal state.

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  • You Said It
    Nov 23, 2011 - 9:51AM

    Will Nawaz offer Qureshi the Prime Minister position, choosing to stay in the background himself? If so, then Qureshi will definitely jump at the offer.

    Recommend

  • Nadeem
    Nov 23, 2011 - 10:24AM

    @hassaan chaudhary:
    Please do us a favor and propose the name yourself, because change of name is inevitable.

    Recommend

  • Nadeem
    Nov 23, 2011 - 10:38AM

    @King Khan:
    Please understand the taxation laws in Pakistan. Firstly, no company can escape taxation, i.e. income tax unless it is specifically exampted by a notification. So first question is whether Ittifaq group was specifically notified. If yes then a copy of that is required to be presented to media, if not than it is ridiculous to say that they did not pay any taxes, cause then it could be challenged in the courts. Secondly, personal taxation is an entirely different concept. An individual who has shares in a company receives dividend from that company and has no income other than dividends from different companies is subject to 10% tax only, as the company has already paid tax on its profit. This is so to avoid double taxation. When nawaz shareef was abrooad for 8 years he was non-resident and therefore not taxable under pakistan tax laws. This is the period for which IK claims they paid 5000 as tax.

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  • King khan
    Nov 23, 2011 - 8:49PM

    everyone knows that whether you are in the country or not, if you are earning from pakistan you have to pay income tax.

    i pay more than 100K income tax and i know i am earning very little as comapre to NS. and with this salary i am unable to buy a 120 yards house but I dont need to mention the size of riwind palace :)

    i dont want to go in legality debate but please try to understand all these people who rule us, they dont pay taxes on their income whether it is agriculture or industrial.

    Recommend

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