LAHORE - The Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) in a bid to keep its remaining supporters in the basket and to improve party’s image is most likely to disassociate itself with the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in the National Assembly. A senior PML-Q leader talking to TheNation on Saturday said that alliance with the PPP had seriously damaged the party, though it was a reality that party leadership including him enjoyed the ‘joyride’ of the former coalition government for more than two and half years. He added that ethically it would be wrong to part ways with the PPP but practical politics has its own compulsions and these compulsions demanded of the ‘two seat mandate’ of PML-Q in the National Assembly to stay away from the PPP to avoid further damage. When asked about the PML-Q plans in parliament, he said that the party would most likely to follow the PTI in an effort to rebuild party’s image which was tarnished by getting into alliance with the PPP. The PML-Q top leadership including party chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Punjab President Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, during a party meeting, were severely criticised by party’s ticket holders and leaders for their politically suicidal decision to join the former PPP-led coalition. The party leaders told the high command with one voice that as a result of the alliance with the PPP, the party did not only suffered heavily in the general elections but also internally as many of its men left the party. They insisted that they were not consulted by the party leadership at the time of taking important issues. They emphasised that the PML-Q could play an effective role without the PPP inside and outside national and provincial assemblies. They said that the PML-Q was punished because it was in the government and the people rejected it over several failures out of which loadshedding was at the top. But they claimed that the PML-Q mandate in some constituencies was stolen and rigging in those constituencies was unprecedented in the electoral history of Pakistan. The PML-Q meeting demanded the setting up of a national commission to address the reservations of all parties regarding the May 11 election and for probing into the complaints made by candidates and parties. The party demanded that the commission should complete its task within 30 days. The meeting hinted at following Imran Khan in the National Assembly by backing PTI’s formula to probe into the complaints of poll rigging. The PTI suggested recounting by verification of fingerprints by Nadra. Shujaat told the meeting that the party had evidence about rigging in different constituencies and it would take those evidences to the Election Commission of Pakistan. Former Punjab chief minister and deputy prime minister in the PPP-led coalition Pervaiz Elahi said that he was not disappointed by the defeat as ‘ups and downs are the part of life’. “Difficult times keep coming for political parties and the PML-Q would continue to play its effective role as an opposition.” The meeting expressed grief over the deaths of children in a tragic incident in Gujrat and conveyed sympathies to bereaved families. According to party sources, the PML-Q high command has directed the Balochistan chapter leadership to support Dr Abdul Malik, chief of the National Party (NP), for the slot of the chief minister. Prominent among the PML-Q leaders present in the meeting were: Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Kamil Ali Agha, SM Zafar, Dr Khalid Ranjha, Saeed Mendokhel, Intikhab Khan Chamakni, Haleem Adil Shaikh, Tariq Bashir Cheema, Mir Hamdan Bugti, Chaudhry Zaheeruddin Khan, Ghias Mela, Sardar Khan Kakar and Dr Azeemuddin Lakhvi.

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 26-May-2013 here.