A full house raised their hands to re-elect Ch Pervaiz Elahi as the President of Pakistan Muslim League, Punjab yesterday in Lahore. This was the third election of Pakistan Muslim League under the Chaudhrys. The election venue was the historic Pakistan Muslim League House, Lahore - a building which has witnessed all epoch making political movements in the nation’s history taking shape under its roof. The air conditioned marquee was jam-packed with the party’s Punjab General Council members who had come from all parts of the province. The party leaders, MPAs and senior politicians including former President of Pakistan Farooq Leghari and former federal minister Sardar Sher Afghan were also present.
The mood of the election proceedings was buoyant and spirited. It was a time of re election and re union. There were many PML colleagues who were meeting after Feb, 08 elections. With sweltering heat outside along with refreshments the participants were also treated to a medley of patriotic party videos being projected on a giant TV screen inside the covered venue. The sweet mix of Seraiki and Punjabi languages in the air was a clear proof of the kind of support the Chaudhrys enjoyed on ground which was evident from the gathering that included a large number of political workers and party supporters who had come from rural and semi urban areas of the province.
Moonis Elahi, was warmly welcoming the participants inside the covered area. In the last few years his role in party politics has also become very important and the way people were gathered around him was evident of the fact. By eleven o clock the venue was full and there were still people pouring in. Another distinct feature of this gathering was the participants’ uncensored and seemingly straight from the heart comments about Humayun Akhtar, Hamid Nasir Chattha and other members of the dissident group. The beauty of a political party is its workers and there were many young and old League workers present in the gathering which was surely a healthy sign.
Pakistan Muslim League’s women MPAs have now become a very active and vocal political group and their impressive presence at the session was a sign of their loyalty to the leadership. The formal meeting of the Punjab Council began with recitation from the Holy Quran by former provincial minister from South Punjab Iqbal Khan Khakwani. The party provincial election commissioner, Jehangir Jhoja then came to the dais and announced the election results. Amid roaring applause, Ch Pervaiz Elahi and Ch Zaheer ud din were declared as unopposed winners for the positions of provincial party president and general secretary respectively. The conduct of the whole meeting smacked of a political culture characteristic of a mature political organization. After the results announcement the general consent of the council members was sought and the members unanimously endorsed the decision. Following this endorsement, key party members were individually invited to read out resolutions pertaining to rising prices, deteriorating economy, drone attacks, building of new dams including Kalabagh dam, water shortage for agriculture, early return of IDPs and load shedding. All resolutions were unanimously adopted by the gathering.
It seemed quite evident from the gathering and their mood and tone that the Chaudhrys have decided to take on the dissidents and they want to prove that unlike the earlier government sponsored leagues this one has its roots in the masses. Though Chaudhrys are known for their humility but this time round one of their obvious motives seemed to send an all out signal to different players of Pakistani politics that the Chaudhrys are a political force to reckon with.