By Aijaz Ahmed
Islamabad: Pakistan Peoples Party under Mr. Asif Ali Zardari and PML-Q of Choudhris Gujrat have formally announced an agreement in principle to form a coalition government and a political cooperation for next general elections.
According to the official press release issued today by Presidential spokesman, a meeting was held in the Presidency Sunday night between leaders of the PPP and PML-Q, which was participated by Choudhry Shujaat Hussain, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi and Raja Basharat of the PML-Q and President Asif Ali Zardari Co-Chairman PPP, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Raja Pervez Ashraf and Spokesperson Farhatullah Babar from the PPP side.
Briefing media persons, the Spokesperson said that the meeting took place in the context of the on going dialogue between the two parties aimed at the political re-alignment and strengthening the reconciliation process to address various issues confronting the country in an atmosphere of political stability, mutual tolerance and accommodation.
The two parties agreed to work together and cooperate for strengthening democracy, ensuring electoral reforms, reforms in FATA, creation of new provinces especially in Southern Punjab (Siraiki) and Hazara, subject to consultations with the people and approval of the stakeholders including the appropriate amendments to the Constitution for this purpose. Farhatullah Babar said that the two parties agreed to cooperate in a number of areas of concern to the people including the economic uplift, controlling inflation, issues related to power shortage, transparency and accountability and improvement in the law and order situation in the country.
|PPP-PML-Q delegations meet: file photo from internet|
Following the agreement in principle, the PML-Q agreed to form coalition government with the PPP in the center headed by the PPP Prime Minister. The two parties also agreed to cooperate in the next elections, which will be held in accordance with the Constitution, he said.
The two parties rejected any change in the government except through the mechanism of free, fair and transparent elections as laid down in the Constitution.
On the other hand, sources in the power structure are of the view that despite announcement of the cooperation by the two sides, the mixing of hearts and minds of the two parties once having strong rivalry will be quite difficult and a sizeable number of old and loyal PPP leaders and workers may revolt against the decision of Mr. Zardari. They think Mian Raza Rabbani and Shah Mehmood Qureshi may cash in the situation in the near future.
The PPP leaders having reservations against the agreement with Q league opined that a person like Pervaiz Elahi who was nominated by BB herself before her brutal murder will become all powerful Deputy Prime Minister and will run a separate cabinet within the present cabinet of Yusuf Raza Gilani.
Nominating Pervaiz Elahi as deputy PM or the senior minister will give a negative message to the party workers and the democratic forces, said Shah Mehmood Qureshi, the latest dissident of the party.
Ghazanfar Gul, a traditional rival of Choudhris in the Gujrat politics, has raised another strong voice against the alliance. He is not ready to eat the cake that is being baked by the Shujaat family. ‘We have been opposing Choudhris in Gujrat and elsewhere in Punjab even at Union Council level and now besides reaching an alliance with them, Pervaiz Elahi who was nominated in murder by BB herself, is being tipped as future Deputy Prime Minister. How could we accept them in the government and ask our workers to support them’, he questioned.
Notwithstanding any opposition and the criticism, the alliance is announced, as no government would commit suicide on the eve of the budget, and thus PPP in the power has a compulsion to join hands with Q League on the terms dictated by the former “Qatil” (murderer) League.
The nitty-gritty has been finalized for the alliance, and oath taking can be arranged any time from now onwards, said a PPP source adding that next tow days are quite important for cabinet extension and a revolt in the PPP.