ISLAMABAD: Satiated with the appointment of Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi as the deputy prime minister, the PML-Q seems to have given up its demand to be a part of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government for now.
The desire to join the provincial government was first expressed by PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain about three months earlier. The party, however, has not pressed for it since.
PML-Q’s spokesman Senator Kamil Ali Agha insists they have not abandoned the plan. “We are negotiating with our coalition partners and have not dropped the idea, (but) priorities at this juncture have changed.”
Agha attributed the delay in negotiations to recent political developments. “The government is already grappling with a number of issues. We do not believe in blackmail and are therefore not pressing our allied partners for the demand.”
He was, however, quick to add: “We are still engaged in consultations with the ruling party as the move would be beneficial for all and not just the PML-Q.”
Responding to a question about prominent party figures opting to join PML-N and PTI such as Amir Muqam, Marvi Memon and Sikandar Bosan, Agha said. “Our party is still intact and the recent Senate elections have proved that.”
It is said PML-Q’s ambition to join the provincial government of K-P is an attempt by the party to recoup after Amir Muqam’s departure, which has put its presence in the region at stake.
However, reports of disgruntled members are still surfacing. Senior leader of PML-Q, Riaz Hussain Pirzada is said to be the latest addition to such dissenters. Pirzada on Friday questioned the appointment of Pervaiz Elahi as the deputy premier, saying there was no constitutional provision for the post.
Another faction of PML-Q known as Likeminded has also struck a deal with the PML-N, while the breakaway faction in the Punjab Assembly, known as Unification Bloc, has weakened the party further.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2012.
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