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Even Q-League feels cheated by PPP
03-30-2009, 10:33 PM
Post: #1
Even Q-League feels cheated by PPP
Even Q-League feels cheated by PPP

Monday, March 30, 2009
By Tariq Butt

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Q) leadership feels betrayed by the PPP for giving a free hand to the PML-N to revive its government in the Punjab and leaving it in the lurch, probably because they had been given some secret understandings which were not met.

Background discussions with senior PML-Q leaders showed that they were highly disturbed over the sudden announcement of lifting of governor’s rule in the Punjab by President Asif Ali Zardari without taking them into confidence.

“Several PPP and PML-Q leaders felt that they were in a position to form a government by winning the Q-League deserters’ loyalties under threat of disqualification for floor-crossing,” one of them told The News. Another PML-Q leader said there was a widespread feeling in his party that it was now faced with serious prospects of extinction after having lost relevance in the political field. He said it would now be difficult to keep its parliamentarians under the PML-Q umbrella.

The PML-Q’s political bearing kept undergoing fast changes after the imposition of governor’s rule. At one time, it emerged as the key player, landing in a position to enable any side to form the government by putting its weight in its scale. The PML-Q leaders admit that after the reinstatement of the deposed judges and the removal of disqualification of the Sharif brothers leading to the restoration of the Shahbaz Sharif government, their party was pushed to the sidelines once again.

They said the PML-Q felt highly let down when the Sharifs refused to host Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain at their Raiwind estate and, instead, preferred to honour Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani.

For being snobbishly treated by the Sharif brothers, the Chaudhrys of Gujrat came close to President Zardari although a predominant majority of leaders of their party were firmly opposed to having any kind of cooperation with the PPP.

PML-Q Secretary-General Mushahid Hussain Sayed prominently figured in this lot, who, from day one, stood against any collaboration with the PPP and instead pressed for joining hands with the PML-N. The misgivings existing between the Sharifs and the Chaudhrys remained as strong as before, which was the main reason behind the non-cooperation between the two parties. The PML-N claimed the PML-Q leaders kept conspiring with the PPP against the Sharif brothers to incapacitate Shahbaz Sharif to have his government revived in the Punjab.

The PML-Q leadership was relying on the party rules to obviate a change of its parliamentary leader in the Punjab Assembly by the forward bloc through the support of 51 per cent MPAs.

The PML-Q rules provide that its head in any elected federal or provincial legislature can’t be changed without the support of the two-thirds majority and with the approval of the party president, a senior party leader told The News.

However, he said the Pakistan Constitution was silent as to how a parliamentary head in a legislature can be changed. But it gives the power to the ‘parliamentary head’ to seek disqualification of a lawmaker for defecting the party.

The PML-Q leader said when the matter would go to a court of law, the party rules would matter with the Constitution being silent in this connection.

The PML-Q forward bloc in the Punjab Assembly, which stood with the PML-N, claimed it has got the support of 51 per cent majority of the MPAs, 44 out of 86, and is; thus, in a position to replace the present PML-Q parliamentary leader, Chaudhry Zaheeruddin.

Under Article 63 (A) of the Constitution, it is the ‘parliamentary head’, who is empowered to declare in writing that an MP has defected, and hands over a reference to the speaker against him
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