Saturday, January 3, 2009

Merger of ‘Q’ and ‘N’ out of question: Moonis Elahi

ISLAMABAD - Terming the merger of PML-Q and “N” out of question’, Moonis Elahi on Wednesday said that his party could go into an alliance either with PPP or PML-N in future but would never sacrifice its individual identity.

“People used to say that PML-Q would vanish with the ouster of General (Retd) Pervez Musharraf, but against the general perception the party has succeeded in maintaining its identity on the basis of its services, it has rendered during its five year tenure, for the masses of Pakistan”, he further said in the exclusive talk with The Nation.

Commenting on recent meeting of Governor Punjab with Chaudhry brothers, he said that parleys were underway with both PPP and PML-N but party’s elders would take the final decision. “Our options are open for both parties but one thing is crystal clear that PML-Q is not advancing for the unification with PML-N”, he added. He said that the party’s central command had proved to all and sundry that it had successfully managed to give new spirit to the party even after February election.

On question of former president’s reported intention to lead PML-Q, Moonis Elahi said that he was legally barred to take part in politics for two years and after this time if he would intend to do so party’s CEC and CWC would mull over it. He admitted that there were a number of PML-Q leaders and parliamentarians who were asking the party to exhibit flexibility towards PML-N rather than forging an alliance with PPP.

He said that the Punjab Government was constantly harassing District Nazims due to their affiliation with ‘Q’ and was dubbing wrongly audit objections as corruption. He said that PPP was sending constant messages to District Nazims to join the party but they are resolute to stand loyal with PML-Q as they have watched our performance in the last five years. When asked whether District Nazims fresh contact with Governor Punjab, Salman Taseer would bring them close to PPP, he said ‘no, they are just asking the Punjab Governor to play his constitutional role and nothing else.

He again refuted the reports of his father’s (Pervaiz Elahi) meeting with PML-N Quaid, Mian Nawaz Sharif in Dubai last week and according to Moonis Elahi PML-N leadership was flying high with inappropriate degree of arrogance. He said that both PPP and PML-N were responsible for persistent tension between them in Punjab as well as the Centre.

“They should come forward to fulfill their promises made with the masses before elections 2008”, he observed.

Moonis Elahi said that PML-Q was ready to sign Charter of Democracy, if the PML-N apologized the nation on supporting long dictatorial rule of General Zia-ul-Haq. “Those, who are asking us to apologize publicly for backing General (Retd) Pervez Musharraf’s military rule, first, feel no reluctance in apologizing the nation on endorsing martial law of Zia”, he observed.

He said that PML-Q was regaining its scattered strength in Punjab Assembly. “A good number of forward bloc members have contacted us and the remaining would also join main stream party in the coming weeks”, he stated. Moonis Elahi said the party’s president, Ch Shujaat Hussain had not yet decided to take part in the upcoming Senate elections.

But if he opts to contest them, all the party MPAs would be at his back. He said that party’s central leader were considering the 18th amendment bill, submitted by Senators Salim Saifullah and Wasim Sajjad in the Upper House Secretariat.