The Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Q) has said that it will neither join the government in the Centre nor in Punjab.
The PML-Q lawmakers do not have a soft corner for the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) due to its unpopular policies.
“We are dead against turncoat politics and want to get rid of the Manzoor Wattoo model from Punjab,” said Secretary General Mushahid Hussain Syed while talking to the media.
Mushahid’s announcement not to back the government apparently contradicts the stance of his party President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain’s when he assured President Asif Ali Zardari his party would not ‘let the PPP government crumble in case the MQM walks out of the coalition’ three days back.
Power sharing talks between the PPP and the PML-Q remained inconclusive after President Zardari insisted that the PML-Q enter into a formal alliance at the Centre since the MQM is apparently not a very reliable coalition partner.
Brushing aside the impression that there was a rift among party leadership on this issue, he said “There is complete consensus in the party on not joining the government.”
Those who had called his party ‘Qatil League’ are seeking political support from its leaders in the Centre as well as in Punjab, he said. It is a clear indication they have not emerged as winners in the political game, he added.
Replying to a question, he ruled out the claim that his party did not enjoy the support of its members in Punjab. Some 47 out of 81 members elected on the PML-Q’s tickets are backing the PML-N in Punjab by forming a forward bloc known as the unification bloc.
The PML-Q’s top leadership was against the PML-N move in Punjab because they wanted to win loyalties of the unification bloc.
Mushahid said that a dialogue did not automatically imply a deal. “We believe in resolving issues through dialogue.” He also claimed that 2011 is the year of political change. The PML-Q will lead the change as its support will help make or break governments, he added.
However, the PML-Q leader said that their doors are open for political dialogue. “Those who need us should come to us and talk to us.” The PML-Q is fast gaining popularity across the country which is why people are joining up and the party was winning by-polls, he added.
Criticising forward blocs and intra-party splinter groups, he said that the lawmakers must get rid of the 90s politics. “Now people in the 21st century will reject turncoats.”
He said the entire party is united on not joining the government and the PML-Q will continue to play the role of an effective opposition as per people’s mandate.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 16th, 2011.
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