Pervaiz Elahi cold-shoulders PTI delegation

LAHORE: Punjab Assembly Speaker and Pakistan Muslim League (PMLQ) leader Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi cold-shouldered a government delegation, which had arrived at his residence to enlist his party’s support against the opposition’s no-confidence motion on Saturday.

Sources said he left the meeting with Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Defence Minister Pervez Khattak in the middle and no joint declaration was issued after the meeting. The leaders of both sides also refused to talk to the media.

Later, in an informal chat with journalists, Pervaiz Elahi said that holding public rallies in Islamabad would have no effect on the vote of no-confidence in the National Assembly and actors of the political drama would change soon. He said the time for a “drop scene in the political drama” had not arrived yet but the “actors” would change. Without elaborating, he added, “the dish has been cooked and half of it has already been distributed and the other half is being handed out.” In an indirect reference to PM Imran Khan, he also stated that those who bring religion into politics have no future in the field.

A press release issued by PMLQ said that Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Defence Minister Pervez Khattak called on Pervaiz Elahi and Federal Ministers Tariq Bashir Cheema and Moonis Elahi. The meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere in which issues of mutual interest, including the political situation, were discussed. Qureshi and Khattak conveyed the message of Prime Minister Imran Khan to the PMLQ leadership.

Tariq Bashir Cheema informed them about problems the party has been facing for the last three and a half years and their solution was also discussed. The PTI leaders said that they would inform Prime Minister Imran Khan about the issues. Pervaiz Elahi said the party would take its president, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, into confidence and the next meeting would be held in Islamabad soon.