LAHORE The announcement by PM Gilani on Saturday regarding hefty development package, job quota and arm licenses for all party MPAs in Punjab seems to have worked. Despite the fact that around 18 legislators, including the rebellious ones, stayed away from PPP Punjab Parliamentary party meeting chaired by the prime minister at Governor House on Saturday, the disgruntled MPAs who had earlier announced to form forward bloc in Punjab have deferred their plan. We have deferred our plan to form forward bloc in Punjab Assembly for the time being, said Malik Abbas Raan, head of dissident the group, while talking to The Nation after the meeting, though he himself and his buddies absented from the PPP show. Raan told this scribe that he would vote for PPP candidates in the upcoming Senate elections and on any other occasion in Punjab Assembly. Malik said that though he and some other MPs had serious reservations on certain issues, but we would remain loyal to the party till completion of present assemblys tenure. After that, he added, We will be free to take whatever decision we like about our political future. According to him, the number of disgruntled legislators was 10, but he would not disclose their names at this stage. He said some of his like-minded companions also attended Saturdays meeting at the Governor House, but only to watch the proceedings and report him back about what happened there. He said he never showed disrespect to PM Gilani, but did complain about stoppage of development funds. He said it was his democratic right to have difference of opinion. But he expressed his annoyance over PMs statement that angry MPAs would also be given development funds provided they held a press conference along with Faryal Talpur to show that they were still loyal to the party. He said he would not do so just for the sake of getting funds. As per sources, Opposition Leader in Punjab Assembly Raja Riaz showed a list of 102 legislators to the participants along with their signatures, who, according to him, attended the parliamentary party meeting at the Governor House. The same was also dispatched to the Presidency. PPPs Deputy Parliamentary Leader Shaukat Basra also claimed that 102 party MPAs out of total 108 attended the meeting. But sources claimed that the number of MPs in attendance was not more than 90. A party legislator confirmed that only 10 MPAs did not turn up for different reasons. Of the 18 legislators who reportedly did not turn up at the Governor House, names of only 10 could be confirmed by the sources. Some of the MPAs with whom this scribe talked to cited personal reasons for not attending the meeting. The absentees included two former provincial ministers, Ashraf Khan Sohna and Dr Tanvirul Islam; and three lady legislators elected on reserved seats, Nargas Perveen Awan, Rana Rizvi and Kishwar Qayyum Nizami. Apart from these, three legislators from Multan, Malik Abbas Raan, Dr Akhtar Malik and Malik Aamer Dogar were also missing, while Aamer Dogar was stated to be out of country. Similarly, Sardar Muhammad Khan Kitchi from Vehari and Shah Jahan Ahmad Bhatti from Nankana Sahib were also absent. Except Muhammad Khan Khitchi and Ashraf Sohna cell phones of all the absentees were found to be switched off. Mr Kitchi and Sohna said they did not attend the meeting due to some emergency at home. Former provincial Minister, Haji Ishaq told The Nation that some of the MPs did attend Fridays dinner hosted by Governor Khosa but could not make it on Saturday due to personal reasons. Earlier, addressing the meeting, PM Gilani refuted the impression that he had stopped development funds of Shah Mahmood Qureshi and two MPAs falling under his National Assembly constituency. Giving a break up of funds released for the three legislators, the PM said that federal government had released Rs1.6 billion for Qureshis constituency, while Rs60 million and Rs160 million had been spent in the provincial constituencies of Malik Abbas Raan and Dr Akhtar Malik respectively. He said the stance taken by the three was contrary to the facts. Gilani said he had telephoned the two MPAs to remove their grievances and was ready to meet them too. If they are still loyal to the party, they should sit with Mohtarma Faryal Talpur and announce their allegiance to the party in a news conference, a source quoted Gilani as having said during the meeting which continued for four hours. Addressing Qasim Zia directly, Gilani alleged that Shah Mehmood Qureshi at a meeting of the parliamentary board had opposed awarding him (Qasim) party ticket for 2008 elections. The meeting also passed a resolution expressing confidence over the leadership of President Asif Ali Zardari and PM Gilani. The PM during the meeting announced that each MPA could recommend names of their acquaintances for five prohibited bore and 10 non-prohibited bore weapons in a month. He also announced to lift ban on recruitment in federal government departments and said that MPs would also be given quota of jobs, but the candidates recommended by them must fulfil the merit criteria. He directed ministers of Water and Power, Petroleum, Interior, Chairman Pakistan Baitul Maal(PBM) and Chairperson Benzir Income Support Fund (BISP) to make themselves available every month in Lahore and solve problems faced by the lawmakers. On a complaint by Azma Zahid Bokahri against PEMRA chairman that he was not accessible to her to address her complaint regarding her character assassination on internet, the PM asked Rehman Malik to resolve the problem.