Some elements in the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid are opposed to joining the Pakistan People’s Party-led coalition, Pakistan Today learnt on Tuesday.
According to a source close to Chaudhrys, the PPP move to rope in the PML-Q might not work as the party does not only want to join the coalition in the centre but also wants a power-sharing deal in Punjab. The source said that the PPP had invited the PML-Q to join the PPP-led coalition government in the centre.
However, the Chaudhrys did not say no to the offer but agreed to work with the government in a close cooperation. “There is an offer to join the PPP but at this stage joining the government without a power-sharing deal in Punjab will be suicidal for us,” the source said. He said both the sides expressed their willingness to cooperate but no details had been finalised in the Monday meeting.
“Let’s see what emerges from our future contacts. Babar Awan’s meeting with Pervaiz Elahi can be a prelude to a possible agreement on power-sharing, which will certainly be a package deal and not just joining the government in the Centre,” the source said.
He said as far as cooperation with the PPP was concerned, the PML-Q would be willing to support the government even without formally joining the government in case the MQM pulled out of the coalition and the PML-N also withdrew support.
Another source said the power-sharing talks between the two parties were going on for the last three months. “Initially, the PPP leadership had asked the Chaudhrys to woo the unification bloc before sealing a deal. However, the Chaudhrys could not woo the bloc and the move ended in a fiasco,” he said.
It was learnt Babar Awan tried to convince the Chaudhrys that the PML-Q should first join the coalition in the Centre, adding that the power-sharing formula in Punjab would be worked out later. Another senior PML-Q MP said the PML-Q would try to clinch the top position in the province with some ministerial slots in the centre.
“Simply, joining the coalition in the Centre does not mean anything as over a dozen of PML-Q MPs are already annoyed with the Chaudhrys for not taking them on board while making major policy decisions. And, if the Chaudhrys decide to join the PPP-led coalition, this will cause a major dent in the already embattled former ruling party,” he said.
Talking to Pakistan Today, Dr Tahir Ali Javed said the PML-N should not worry about the PPP-PML-Q talks as both parties could not muster the required strength to bring an in-house change in Punjab.
“We are standing with PML-N and will always support it,” he said, adding that the formation of the PPP-PML-Q coalition government in Punjab was simply impossible.
Meanwhile, talking to reporters at the Supreme Court, Faisal Saleh Hayat said his party was not going to forge any alliance with the PPP.