Shujaat thinks Imran will win popular vote

PML-Q joins the growing number of political parties hoping to join hands with the PTI post-elections.

Abdul Manan May 04, 2013
“If Nawaz comes into power it would be a serious threat to the democratic set-up due to his stubborn and inflexible attitude,” says Chaudhry Shujaat.


You may have to strain to hear his voice, but Chaudhry Shujaat certainly doesn’t mince his words. While he admits that his party, the PML-Q, will not emerge a winner, he is still confident that they will be kingmakers.

With the elections just a week away, the PML-Q president predicts that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf will grab more popular votes than all other political parties. Once that happens, he predicts that the PML-Q will be comfortable in making an alliance with the PTI.

In a candid talk with The Express Tribune in Gujrat’s Zahoor Palace, Shujaat also revealed why he seems to have a soft spot for the PTI.

“The credit goes to Imran Khan for puncturing the PML-N’s arrogance,” he said, adding that Khan has put the PML-N on the defensive.

Asked about Nawaz Sharif, he said “if Nawaz comes into power it would be a serious threat to the democratic set-up due to his stubborn and inflexible attitude.”

In his opinion, it was this attitude that precipitated the 1999 coup, and he argues that Sharif had illegally removed the then chief of army staff Gen Pervez Musharraf.

Speaking about the present COAS, Shujaat mentioned how Gen Kayani had seconded two of his views: First, that the chapter of Musharraf’s trial under Article 6 should now be closed. And second, that the war on terror should be owned as our own war.

Returning to his arch-rival, Shujaat said it was unfair that Nawaz Sharif was taking credit for the Motorway and other development projects, as these were joint decisions, and so the credit should also be shared. “Sharif’s allegations of corruption against others are absurd as he himself is one of the corrupt political leaders,” said Shujaat openly. He said Sharif’s modus operandi is to introduce and promote sophisticated institutionalised corruption, and institutional corruption is always hard to point out he said, while citing examples like imposing bans on export or import of specific items or introducing duty on certain items which benefitted a select few.

He said the PML-N should disassociate itself from banned terrorist organisations. “Any kind of covert flirtation with terrorist groups and banned outfits is not only unacceptable but is also against the national interest,” he added.

Asked how he felt about sitting on the sidelines in the 2013 elections, he replied that it was his way of giving space to newcomers. Shujaat may not be as active in politics as in the past and may walk with slow and measured steps, yet he remains busy meeting influential voters of NA 105 at his residence to muster votes for his cousin Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi.

Shujaat, who has inherited the political mantle of his late father Chaudhry Zahoor Elahi, said that the coming week is crucial as 20% of the voters are still indecisive about whom to vote for. “All political parties will try their utmost in this week to attract undecided voters,” he said, adding that the PML-Q will surprise everyone on May 11, and will play a vital role in the post-election scenario.

But how will that be possible, given that the PML-Q now seems to be limited to Punjab alone? In reply, Shujaat says many of his party’s candidates are contesting as independents and will officially join the party later

His final words of advice are for all political parties, saying that given the likelihood of a hung parliament, parties should stop malicious campaigns against each other. After all, one never knows if they’ll have to eat their words after May 11.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 4th, 2013.


Realist | 8 years ago | Reply

@SHADI: haha

SHADI | 8 years ago | Reply

u can call him whatever you want...but this man knows politics :)

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