PML-Q builds up pressure, begins parleys with Nawaz

Published: October 5, 2011
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Q cabinet members submit resignations to Chaudhry Shujaat; MQM delegation to meet president today.

Q cabinet members submit resignations to Chaudhry Shujaat; MQM delegation to meet president today.

Q cabinet members submit resignations to Chaudhry Shujaat; MQM delegation to meet president today. Ministers say they cannot work with a govt which does not fulfil its commitments.

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari’s ruling coalition appears to be in trouble: on the day cabinet members from his biggest ally – the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid – submitted their resignations to their party chief, reports emerged of secret talks between leaders of the PML-Q and the party of the president’s foremost political rival, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.

PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif and PML-Q president Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain have begun talks through their business associates at Sharif’s estate in the Lahore suburb of Raiwind to narrow their personal and political differences, sources privy to the developments told The Express Tribune.

PML-N spokesperson Senator Mushahidullah Khan confirmed that the PML-Q and the PML-N were holding negotiations but refused to confirm or deny the meetings in Raiwind. PML-Q spokesperson Kamil Ali Agha did not appear to be aware of any negotiations between the two parties.

Meanwhile, cabinet members belonging to the PML-Q submitted their resignations to Chaudhry Shujaat (though not to the prime minister, as is constitutionally required), in what appears to be a bid to build up pressure on President Zardari to meet their demands. The president is reported to have contacted Shujaat soon after the resignations were made public to discuss his coalition partner’s grievances.

The alliance between the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party and the PML-Q had been announced earlier in the year and had initially been viewed as an anti-PML-N coalition, prompting Sharif to begin frantically planning a way to prevent his party’s political encirclement.

Sharif had been rumoured to have been preparing for a big push to oust the government of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani around late September or early October. It appears that the PML-N chief has advanced quite far in his attempts to call for any early election before the scheduled March 2012 Senate elections.

PML-Q members have been unhappy with their treatment in the government. “None of the commitments made when we joined the government have been fulfilled by the PPP,” said Housing Minister Faisal Saleh Hayat, a senior PML-Q leader.

The PML-Q’s demands included seat adjustment agreements for the 2013 elections, access to federal funds for their constituencies and quotas in federal jobs, none of which appear to have been met.

Hayat said that matters between the PML-Q and the PPP had not yet reached ‘the point of no return’, but the party seemed to be already exploring alternatives to a return to the ruling coalition. Agha, the PML-Q spokesperson, said that the party hoped to resolve its differences with President Zardari.

The president met late on Tuesday night with Prime Minister Gilani to discuss the situation while he is expected to hold what PML-Q members term a ‘make or break’ meeting with their party’s leadership in a day or two, sources said.

The president already seems to be building back-up options, however. A delegation of senior leaders from the Muttahida Qaumi Movement – an erstwhile ally of the PPP – is already in Islamabad and expected to meet Zardari on Wednesday (today) to discuss what many assume would be an agreement to rejoin the ruling coalition.

The PML-N, meanwhile, appears to have other ideas. The resignation by the PML-Q from the cabinet is the first step in Sharif’s plan to oust the government, sources said. The second phase will utilise the protests against power outages to channel popular outrage to compel the Gilani administration to resign.

Senior leaders from the PML-N and the PML-Q appear to have decided to contest the next general election, scheduled for May 2013, on the PML-N ticket, sources said. PML-N insiders, however, emphasised that while they were preparing for a change, they would not support any ‘extra-constitutional’ steps, a reference to possible intervention by the military.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 5th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (15)

  • Oct 4, 2011 - 5:59PM

    What the!! You are part of the government! If its failing to provide relief to the masses you too are at fault! You are supposed to work double time harder! Not resign!!

    Recommend

  • Word Life
    Oct 4, 2011 - 6:11PM

    … cannot work with a govt which does not fulfil its commitments…

    Like getting Monis out of NICL case?

    Recommend

  • Tahir Amjad
    Oct 4, 2011 - 6:48PM

    @ word life

    very rightly said……………..

    Recommend

  • UMER Z
    Oct 4, 2011 - 7:25PM

    I have never understand what Q leagues , Political ideology and manifesto is, no one writes about their double standards , when their ministers had a case in the supreme court for corruption and electricity , next you found out they were in the cabinet. They should be striped in the next elections, that would be the real revolution of Pakistan.Recommend

  • buttjee
    Oct 4, 2011 - 7:28PM

    Yet another drama to pressurize PPP Govt. to secure release of Moonis Elahi.

    Recommend

  • JOhNNy
    Oct 4, 2011 - 7:43PM

    Their resignations doesn’t make sense,does it?Its true its the real time for them to work,they chose a easy path of quitting it.Their aims have completed & they have no other reason to stay..perhaps moonis was the reason.. May God help Pakistan!

    Recommend

  • Omer
    Oct 4, 2011 - 7:47PM

    Too late….and ya nice try with NICL case!

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  • H.A. Khan
    Oct 4, 2011 - 7:47PM

    This is a joke.

    You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.

    Recommend

  • Shayan
    Oct 4, 2011 - 7:58PM

    what a conscientious lot! I cant believe people still vote for you!

    Recommend

  • Junaid
    Oct 4, 2011 - 8:29PM

    Well Mr-PMLQ you have been effectively trapped in NICL scandal. Resignation from the cabinet is a very low level protest. If you are sincere this time then resign from the parliament sir. Do you have moral courage to do that…….????

    Recommend

  • Mohammad naeem
    Oct 4, 2011 - 8:35PM

    What type of parties we have?
    When this govt was facing economic crises in the start pml-n resigned.
    Again when there was question of imposing RGST and raising fuel prices due to international hike in prices mqm resigned.
    Jui-f resigned when it saw govt was surrounded in multiple crises and terrorist attacks thruout the country and now pml-q!?

    Does it mean the responsibility of pakistan is only on ppp’s shoulders?
    Like they have been sacrificing their leaders all along.i-f resigned when it saw govt was surrounded in multiple crises and terrorist attacks thruout the country and now pml-q!?

    Does it mean the responsibility of pakistan is only on ppp’s shoulders?
    Like they have been sacrificing their leaders all along.

    Recommend

  • Maulana Diesel
    Oct 4, 2011 - 8:47PM

    Something is wrong somewhere, probably elections or some interim setup is in the offing.

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  • Faizan
    Oct 4, 2011 - 8:57PM

    Funny…. Wow. You did not resign because the gov failed to provide relief to the masses, rather you resigned because they failed to provide relief to You and Your share in the plundering of the nation’s wealth.

    Recommend

  • ali
    Oct 4, 2011 - 9:16PM

    Moonis was not released..so Q is now leaving PPP. Time for elections…

    Recommend

  • Rohail
    Oct 7, 2011 - 2:32AM

    Dear People,
    Reject PML-N, PPP, JUI-F and MQM…If Pakistan wants change, Pakistan wants honest people like Imran Khan… VOTE FOR PTIRecommend

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