Handle allies with care, Elahi tells govt

PML-Q leader lauds PPP for being ‘exemplary’ coalition partner

Our Correspondents January 31, 2020
PML-Q leader lauds PPP for being ‘exemplary’ coalition partner. PHOTO: INP/FILE

PESHAWAR/ LAHORE: While the ruling PTI is struggling to placate its disgruntled coalition partners, the PML-Q complained about unfulfilled commitments on Friday – the day the PPP made a fresh attempt to woo the MQM-P out of the governing alliance.

Punjab Assembly Speaker Pervaiz Elahi urged the PTI to treat its allies properly while heaping praise on the PPP for being an “exemplary” coalition partner. “We stand by the government in good faith and want it to complete its tenure,” he told a delegation of the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) headed by senior journalist Arif Nizami, who drew Elahi's attention towards the precarious situation of the media industry in the country.

“We are waiting and hoping for the best – for now,” he said, adding that the PTI has yet to fully implement the agreement it had reached with the PML-Q. “The affairs of four districts [in Punjab] where our party has a majority were supposed to be handed over to us but the PTI has backed out.”

Bilawal urges MQM-P to reconsider alliance with ‘failing’ PTI govt

The PML-Q leader observed that his party’s experience as a coalition partner of the PTI and the PML-N had not been a pleasant one. “The PPP, however, not only ensured the implementation of everything we had agreed on but [former president and PPP co-chairman] Asif Ali Zardari sahib did more than that,” he said.

The PML-Q leader also put his weight behind the PPP government in Sindh on the issue of IGP Dr Kaleem Imam’s transfer.

“He [Kaleem Imam] did not play a positive role. He disobeyed the chief minister’s orders and spoke at press conferences against him,” he added. “There should be strict action against such an officer. Those who patronised him were up to no good.”

Elahi also said that the people living in the Seraiki belt were used for political gains under the slogan of a separate province. “Some people used this slogan for their own benefit and are not really sincere with the Seraiki people.”

The ruling PTI has been struggling to reassure its political allies after the MQM-P’s articulation of smouldering grievances set off a domino chain reaction, with the coalition partners going public with their apparent disillusionment.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, who last December offered ministries to the MQM-P in Sindh on the condition the party quit the ruling coalition, again urged the Karachi-based ally to reconsider its support to the government.

“This alliance is making lives difficult for the people of Karachi,” he added.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has been trying to stamp out the troubles brewing in Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.

The premier has reportedly decided to give a second chance to the three K-P ministers Muhammad Atif Khan, Shahram Khan Tarakzai and Shakeel Ahmad – who were recently sacked on his direction for their alleged conspiracies against the chief minister.

Premier Imran met K-P Chief Minister Mahmood Khan in Islamabad on Friday and told him that the friction between him and the three former ministers was the result of a misunderstanding.

He told Khan that he wants the former ministers to return to the provincial cabinet, so that he could have a strong team at his disposal to govern the province. Two of the sacked ministers had earlier met the prime minister to give an explanation for their actions.

(With additional reporting by our correspondents in Peshawar and Karachi)


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