LAHORE - The PML-Q top leadership Saturday met with Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) leaders to buy time for announcing the schedule of dissolution of assemblies, but reportedly they also used the opportunity to check if the PAT would like to make a political alliance with them.
Dr Tahirl Qadri has been increasing the pressure on the government alliance for certain electoral reforms and he has also gone to the Supreme Court for dissolution of the existing Eelection Commission of Pakistan that, according to him, is illegal.
As part of the series of meetings meant to discuss the implementation of pledges made by the government to persuade Qadri to end his Long March, the PML-Q high command visited the Minhaj Secretariat.
Besides discussing items of their declared agenda, the Q team led by Chaudhary Shujaat Hussain took to discussing with PAT leadership the possibility of a political alliance and they tried to read Dr Qadri’s mind on this count, PML-Q sources said. They claimed that idea of an alliance of PAT, PTI, PML-Q and some religious parties was also discussed.
The PML-Q has been at odds with its bigger partner PPP lately due to serious differences over seat adjustments and other political matters and seeks a lifesaving alliance ahead of the upcoming general elections.
About the overt agenda of talks, the sources said that PAT leadership expressed reservations over the ruling coalition’s seriousness about the implementation of the agreement reached last month at the D-Chowk.
They quoted Dr Qadri as saying that PPP leadership was expressing lack of interest in giving a legal cover to the Islamabad Declaration by not sending Federal Law Minister Farooq H Naek in the previous two meetings.
The PML-Q leadership reassured the PAT leaders that they would be taken on board on the matter of caretaker prime minister and chief minister. Both sides agreed to present each other the proposed names of their parties for the caretaker PM in their meeting, likely to be held next week.
After the meeting, Dr Qadri told the media that although the PAT was partly satisfied with the conduct of the ruling coalition but if betrayed, it could convert its mass contact drive named ‘Revolution March’ – scheduled for February 15 – into another long march.
He said that the visiting PML-Q team has presented them proposals for dissolution of the assemblies, while presence of federal law minister but presence of Farooq Naek at their meetings was must to give a legal shape to the proposals and the Islamabad agreement.
He said that the law minister and Qamar Zaman Kaira, close aide of President Zardari, would come in the next meeting to sort out legal and constitutional complexities.
PAT chairman said that the ruling coalition would consult his party over the names of caretaker prime minister and chief minister, and the two sides would come up with their choices for these slots in the next meeting.
PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain said that this was a follow up meeting and his party fully supports the PAT agenda. He said that Farooq Naek would accompany the government team in the next meeting. About the possibility of an alliance between the PML-Q, PAT and PTI, he said that choosing suitable partners was part of the political game; however, the shape of new alliances would be clear after the assemblies complete their term.
In the meeting, Chaudhary Shujaat was assisted by Deputy Prime Minister Chaudhary Pervaiz Elahi, Moonis Elahi, Khalid Ranjha and Mushahid Hussain Syed. Dr Tahirul Qadri was assisted by PAT President Dr Raheeq Abbasi, Dr Hussain Mohayyuddin, Hassan Mohayyuddin and Qazi Faizul Islam.