• Sat. Jan 28th, 2023

‘God forbid’, Parvez Elahi comes close to us, quips Khawaja Asif


Federal Defence Minister Khawaja Asif addressing during a walk on the eve of Youm e Istehsal to extend solidarity with the people of Kashmir at the Constitution Avenue in Islamabad on August 5, 2022. — Online
Federal Defence Minister Khawaja Asif addressing during a walk on the eve of ‘Youm e Istehsal’ to extend solidarity with the people of Kashmir at the Constitution Avenue in Islamabad on August 5, 2022. — Online
  • CM Elahi is Khan’s “dacoit”, alleges defence minister.
  • “No knowledge about power-sharing formula,” he says.
  • Asif claims people from PTI are finding new parties.

Defence Minister Khawaja Asif Monday maintained that there will “definitely” be a change in Punjab, but denied Chief Minister Parvez Elahi’s closeness with Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N).

“Imran Khan’s alleged dacoit has to be ousted,” said while speaking to journalists during a presser in Lahore, as the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) seeks the removal of CM Elahi.

Refuting the possibility of power-sharing with the PML-Q and CM Elahi’s vote of confidence, the minister said: “I have no knowledge about the power-sharing formula. If the Punjab government has complete votes, then why can’t they take the vote of confidence? I believe we have several of our people in the assembly.”

Punjab’s political climate continues to fluctuate for the past several months with allies — Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) — and the opposition remain at loggerheads with each other.

According to the sources, the PTI has decided not to take a vote of confidence in the Punjab Assembly session on January 9 after input from the party’s legal minds. It has planned to seek an opinion from the court.

CM Elahi, too, has rejected taking the vote of confidence in the Punjab Assembly. A PTI dissident lawmaker Nasir Khan Musazai — whose guest house was attacked with a hand grenade last night — also revealed that the Punjab chief minister is not in favour of dissolving the assembly.

Responding to a question pertaining to polls, Asif maintained that elections will take place at its time.

Slamming PTI Chairman Imran Khan, the defence minister said that people are disappointed after the PTI chief got exposed.

“People are finding new parties and new shelters for themselves because they often join new groups when the graph of a party goes down,” Khawaja Asif said.

It was reported last week that PTI’s dissident members are preparing to form a new political party and have started negotiations.

According to sources, some eminent politicians from Central and South Punjab are likely to join the new party. Jahangir Tareen, Aleem Khan and people from the Chaudhry Sarwar group are being contacted, they said.

However, Awn Chaudhry and Aleem dismissed reports of forming a new political party.

Speaking with journalists, Asif also commented on PML-N’s internal party politics with regards to Maryam Nawaz being designated as its senior vice president.

“It was a good [decision] to appoint Maryam as the party organiser,” he said, informing that PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif’s return is not conditioned to anything.

It was earlier reported that some senior party leaders are “upset” with the decision.

A senior PML-N leader told The News, on condition of anonymity, that “this decision is undemocratic and is aimed at furthering the Sharifs’ political dynasty”. He revealed that hardly any senior leader outside the Sharif family was consulted before making the decision.



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