JAWAD R AWAN and SAID ALAM KHAN
LAHORE/PESHAWAR – The PML-Q high command, which struck a ‘weak’ power sharing deal with the PPP last year, has once again repeated the same blunder under the new arrangement that would turn its ‘bunch of winning candidates’ into ‘runner ups’ in the next elections, TheNation has learnt.Sources in the PML-Q privy to the unease among the party ranks over the deal negotiated by the ‘Chaudhrys of Gujrat’ told this correspondent on Tuesday that Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi with the designation of deputy prime minister but without any of the power of the chief executive and increased number of PML-Q ministers in the federal cabinet lacking meaningful portfolios were the most likely issues to damage the party in the next elections instead of maintaining its current number in the Parliament and provincial assemblies.They quoted some of the party leaders as saying that carrying the ‘excess baggage’ of the PPP-led government in the next elections under such an unwise deal would be a doomsday political recipe for the party’s future.The same political figures of the party were of the view that the PML-Q, which was once a ‘band of winning candidates’, would become just so-called potentially strong candidates under a ‘powerless formula of sharing power’. The unhappy party leaders were of the opinion that the top PML-Q leadership secured more ministries, apparently in an effort to avoid further breakaways; however, the move would not help the party to survive in the next elections. They added that it would be better to part ways with the government by accepting the political blunder of becoming part of the PPP-led coalition and ask for an apology of their electorate, as the next polls would prove their fears about political decimation of the party due to the renewal of support to the ruling alliance. The PML-Q leaders said loadshedding alone was enough for their political ruin in the next elections and they could not befool their voters by shifting the entire burden of their failures on the opposition. The PML-Q sources claimed that the party ministers, who took oath in Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf’s cabinet, had also reservations about the absolute powers they required to run even their meaningless ministries, adding that the issue would surface once the party’s ministers would settle in after a while. Makhdoom Faisal Saleh Hayat, a senior PML-Q leader who refused to join the new cabinet, when contacted, said, “Challenges have increased manifolds for the party after getting more ministries in the new cabinet, as delivering to the masses is the real task and getting the portfolio is just the beginning.”He added, “The PML-Q parliamentarians, which are believed to be group of winning candidates have to face an uncertain political future if they fail to deliver.”When asked about the political dent to the PML-Q boat due to unprecedented loadshedding, he acknowledged that the issue would haunt the party contenders in the next polls even if the ruling coalition succeeded in controlling the menace to some extent.Meanwhile, the PML-Q, interestingly, doesn’t have party office, funds and even elected provincial president in Khyber Pk to run party’s affairs effectively in the province.The PML-Q chief, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, had dissolved the party’s KP provincial cabinet on March 27, removed its president Ameer Muqam and consequently formed a temporary organising committee for three months - the time period of the committee is going to expire exactly today (Wednesday). However, there is nothing on ground till date. During this period, the committee, headed by MPA Nighat Orakzai, held several meetings with the party central command, where a number of important matters - holding party elections, appointing provincial president, reorganising party in KP and even joining ANP’s led provincial government - were also discussed thoroughly, insiders told The Nation.Apparently, it seems that the PML-Q’s central leadership is focusing on Punjab and Islamabad only. The three-month period given to the committee for reorganising the party and holding fresh party elections is expired, but unfortunately, there is nothing on the ground, which is an unfortunate fact.Not to speak of holding party elections, the Q-League’s provincial chapter does not have even office, funds and elected provincial president to run party affairs smoothly, which reflects, the ‘interest’ on the part of party’s central leadership, the insiders maintained.As compared to the other provinces, the PML-Q has still four lawmakers in the provincial assembly and active workers across the province. In Sindh and Balochistan, where the party position is crystal clear to all, the party still has several advisers to the respective chief ministers.When asked the PML-Q enjoyed substantial representation from KP in the federal cabinet, they said although, Sardar Shahjahan Yousuf and Qasim Shah were representing the province in the cabinet, but they did not visit Peshawar or any other districts of the province and not even organised a single public meeting of the party.