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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

UK’s Interest in PPP-PML-Q Deal! Hectic Political Hob-knobbing in Islamabad; Another Alliance in Offing; Imran Khan’s Dharna & Meetings With Generals

PPP-PML-Q to Wed Soon, III: 

By Aijaz Ahmed

Foreign intervention in Pakistan’s internal affairs means influence exerted by the governments of the United States, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar or the UK for most of the part, and by one or the other means this foreign involvement was and has been quite a regular feature for last several decades, however, any involvement of this sort in the affairs like making political alliances has not been that common.

Formation of the political alliances for or against the government in Pakistan has mostly been a job done either by the politicians themselves when the fruits of change were seen ripe or a job smartly done by the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) as it happened when the military establishment went on the other side of the fence against Benazir Government in late eighties.

This is the reason why British involvement to ensure a deal between PPP of Asif Ali Zardari and Q league of Choudhris was taken as a surprise as no one could grasp the UK interest in Q league, when its blue eyed former dictator General Musharraf is in the political arena and has shifted his residence from the posh aristocratic locality of the world’s political Capitol, London to UAE, the growing hub of international interests of cross sections.

The sources in the power corridors have witnessed a leading British diplomat shuttling between the government and the Q league even attending the meetings where the knitty-gritty is being finalized.

The said diplomat was seen present at a meeting of PML-Q stalwarts at one of the farm houses in Shahzad Town, a posh suburban area of beautiful Islamabad. Later the participants gathered at the residence of Owais Leghari, son of former president Farooq Leghari and one of the PMLQ stalwart.

Owais has been one of the staunch opponents of PPP since his father and once PPP follower dissolved second Benazir Government after being elected by his mother party. In addition, he is said to be among those who are not happy with his party’s decision to shake hands with PPP. He however, is said to have been neutralized with an option of his favorite IT ministry and a lucrative office in Punjab, if the deal is struck.

The dinner hosted by young Owais turned into a big political gathering with few faces from PPP and also a sizeable number of the members from the parties sitting with PPP in government. A huge number of diplomats including the US and Britain were among the participants

On the other hand sources at presidency were of the view that two more names are included in the run for next governor Punjab along with Maqsood Leghari, a tribal elder and uncle of Owais. Ch. Wajahat, younger brother of Shujaat is being considered as a candidate for the seat, while Pervaiz Elahi could be nominated on the post for an interim period till safe management of a peaceful political change in the Punjab government.

Presidency sources also witnessed a visit by few PML-Q leaders excluding Ch. Shujaat to the Pakistan’s current Capital Hill, the presidency and an informal central secretariat of PPP. The arrival of Q league team at presidency is said to be part of the deliberations for finalizing points of the agreement to be written and signed by leaders if both parties.

Sources are confident that the deal will be finalized in the current week and will successfully be implemented in next few days. Majority of the PPP leaders except Raza Rabbani are said to be successfully managed by President Zardari. Raza Rabbani has asked his party to relieve him from his ministry as he doesn’t want to leave his current office as a mark of protest, but presidency is quite confident that he will be managed again.

Imran Khan: Agencies' trump card or Taliban's Goebbels?
In addition to the new alliance in the making between PPP and PML-Q, another alliance is believed to be emerging with participation of Jamaat i Islami, JUI, Dharna fame Imran Khan, and other parties having no representation in the parliament.

The alliance is believed to have blessings of our worthy agencies, being part of their visible strategy to topple another elected government at center and all the four provinces, sources confided.

The move is part of a plan to install a technocrats’ government under Imran Khan or any other suitable candidate. The former cricket captain has been accused of holding secret meetings with Generals in the recent past. He is also blamed for staging a dharna at Peshawar on the signals from the powers that be.

Reaction of Imran Khan on the charges was full of contradictions. What price agencies can pay for me, he questions. I am not for sale and they (agencies) are not in position to buy me. But he could not satisfy on blessings from Hameed Gul and the present mindset in the agencies. While terming the allegation regarding his meetings with generals baseless, he had to finally admit that he met only with General Ahmed Shuja Pasha, Chief of ISI.

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