Feb 28, 2009

PML unification moves gain momentum

Senator Ishaq Dar, a strong proponent of unifying the PML and the architect of unopposed Senate elections from Punjab, on Friday went to offer condolences on the death of the mother of Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain.
According to the PML-Q insiders, Mr Dar is being assisted in his unification efforts by Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, from the Nawaz League, and Mushahid Hussain, from the PML-Q.
The recent move to disqualify the Sharif brothers and the subsequent imposition of the governor’s rule in Punjab has only armed him with new arguments for unification.
Both sides, they said, recognised that if the current opportunity was lost, the dream for a unified PML might be buried forever.
They claim that the unification efforts could have borne fruit by now had it not been for Chaudhry Pervaiz Ellahi, who thinks that the Q-League would lose its identity if it merged with the N-League. He favours an alliance with the PPP as the party, Pervaiz Elahi contends, would treat PML-Q on an equal footing.
Talking to Dawn, Senator Dar, however, denied any such moves and said he had ‘gone to only offer fateha.’
Nothing beyond challenges facing Pakistan had been discussed, he claimed.
About the prospects of unification, Mr Dar said: ‘The issue was not discussed.’
But PML-N and Q-League insiders insist that ‘Senator Ishaq Dar’s visit to the Chaudhrys’ place would certainly give an added impetus to the unification efforts because of his personal relations with the Sharifs and his overall image of an advocate of unification.’ His call on the Chaudhrys was as good as the Sharif brothers visiting the place, they added.
The PML-N also threw a dampener on the wishes of Ch Pervaiz Ellahi when it invited and let the media count 33 members of the PML-Q forward bloc at Jati Umara.
It showed that PML-N could not be defeated in the number game, at least for the time being.
The visit was meant to win over Pervaiz Elahi, who is virtually waging a lone battle to align his party with PPP for formation of government in Punjab, insiders said. The visit of Ijazul Haq to Raiwind on Friday morning could have also served as grim reminder to Pervaiz Elahi that cooperation with PPP would be ill-advised, they observed.
‘The afternoon visit by Mr Ishaq Dar, apart from genuine courtesy of offering fateha, might be a soft reminder for Pervaiz Ellahi that he has limited options in the number game and his dreams about landing the Chief Minister House a second time through the PPP are largely misplaced until and unless he stages a political coup against the PML-N,’ they insisted.

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