Pakistan

ECP urged to announce verdict in PML-Q chair case

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Acting Punjab Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi and other members of his party belonging to his camp approached the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday, pushing for the announcement of its verdict

Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) had decided in July to remove party President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and General Secretary Tariq Bashir Cheema and hold a fresh election for the top posts within 10 days.

Read Elahi’s stunt

However, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain filed an application with the ECP stating that the intra-party elections are scheduled for August 10 without the permission of the party president and secretary general.

A four-member bench of the ECP, headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja, on the plea had restrained the party from holding intra-party polls for the time being, and later reserved its judgment on the matter on August 18.

Appearing before the ECP today, Pervaiz Elahi's counsel Amir Saeed Rawn requested the ECP to announce its verdict at the earliest as "there are going to be elections in Punjab soon".

"Party tickets can only be issued after the ECP's verdict," he added.

Reports of Pervaiz Elahi's joining the PTI were also discussed on the occasion, however, Rawn stated that "everything depends on the ECP's judgment".

Read More CM Elahi reiterates support for Imran

Upon this, the ECP's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Member questioned if a written request had been submitted seeking an early announcement of the verdict.

"It has been four months since that request was filed," the lawyer told the electoral body.

The ECP members then responded by saying that they would "try to announce the verdict soon" about Shujaat's status as party head.

Party at a crossroads

It may be noted here that Chaudhry Shujaat had on Monday suspended the party membership of Pervaiz Elahi over his statement regarding the party’s merger with the PTI.

The PML-Q had also issued show-cause notices to Elahi as well as Moonis Elahi, Hussain Elahi and Senator Kamil Ali Agha.

According to the ECP sources, the PML-Q could not be merged with the PTI on Elahi’s whim as the party was registered in Shujaat’s name.

The two PML-Q leaders have over the years earned prominence for their foresightedness in national politics, which eventually led to the party’s elevation in the political sphere. However, it is also hard to ignore the behind-the-scenes maneuverings and the role played by Chaudhry Wajahat Hussain. The trio has successfully forwarded the political legacy of Chaudhry Zahoor Elahi.

The family’s new generation, which came of age politically after inheriting the strong political legacy from the Chaudhry brothers in Gujarat, has apparently abandoned the traditions.

Also Read Shujaat, Zardari discuss no-trust vote in NA

The 'ginger group' is now on the cusp of being transformed into an independent party.

In the aftermath of the no-confidence vote and shifting allegiances, the family stands at a crossroads where it is marred by internal differences, as two major camps exist within the party — those who support the PML-N and the other that backs the PTI.

Shujaat sides with the PML-N given that his son, Chaudhry Salik Hussain, desired to become a federal minister in the incumbent coalition set-up. Meanwhile, Shujaat’s younger brother Wajahat and his son, Chaudhry Hussain Elahi, tread the opposite route, desiring to align with the PTI.

Shujaat’s youngest brother, Chaudhry Shafaat Hussain, who is disgruntled with the family’s policies, remains silent and has withdrawn from the family.

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