LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) have decided in principle to join the Pakistan Peoples Party-led (PPP) coalition government.
Sources told The Express Tribune that in a meeting in Lahore on Thursday, party members also discussed ways to persuade the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) to join the federal government’s proposed national government. PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain took the responsibility to bring JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on board, sources said.
The parties also discussed the portfolios that the federal government has offered them and the MQM expressed concern over its share of ministries.
The PML-Q has been offered four federal and four state ministries. But while they have not been offered the governorship of Punjab, they have been offered a place to represent Pakistan in the United Nations. The MQM has been offered only two ministries.
Sources said that the PPP implicated Moonis Elahi in the National Insurance Company Limited (NICL) scam and since the PML-Q considers the Elahis as the real power of the party and the political future of the Chaudhrys of Gujrat, it has been forced into joining the federal government.
Sources also said that the PPP has invited PML-Q to join the government for two reasons. “Firstly, the PPP wants to give a message to the public that the 2011-12 budget has been passed with consent of all major parties. Secondly, they want to save the PML-Q’s face among the people in order to harm the PML-N’s vote bank,” sources said.
Sources said that the PPP had made appointments in the Federal Investigation Agency to please the PML-Q. They said that the Lahore High Court would most probably accept Moonis Elahi’s bail petition on April 23 or 24.
Sources said that the MQM’s apprehensions regarding the Sindh government have been addressed by the PPP so its office-bearers had informed Hussain of their availability for the federal government.
Meanwhile, JUI-F’s Senator Talha Mehmood met Hussain on Thursday and conveyed a message from his party’s chief who is currently in Belgium. In a telephonic conversation, Rehman assured Hussain that he will join the national government.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 22nd, 2011.
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