Saturday, December 17, 2022

Dissolution of assemblies: Parvez Elahi dashes to Rawalpindi ahead of Imran's announcement

PTI chief set to announce the date of the assemblies' dissolution today in Lahore; PML-Q against Imran Khan's move

Chief Minister Punjab Chaudhry Pervez Elahi speaks during a pre-recorded video statement on November 27, 2022. — Twitter/ChParvezElahi
Chief Minister Punjab Chaudhry Pervez Elahi speaks during a pre-recorded video statement on November 27, 2022. — Twitter/ChParvezElahi

  • CM Elahi holds important meeting in Rawalpindi. 
  • Opposes dissolving assemblies in late-night consultations in Lahore. 
  • Imran is set to announce date for dissolution of assemblies today.

Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi held a crucial meeting in Rawalpindi ahead of Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan's announcement of the date for the dissolution of assemblies. 

CM Elahi traveled to Rawalpindi on Friday evening where he held an important meeting. After returning to Lahore at night, he consulted with party leaders on the prevailing political situation. The PML-Q leader also took Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain into confidence, according to sources.

The development comes just hours before the PTI chief is set to announce today the date for the dissolution of the Punjab Assembly. He held several meetings in this connection with Parvez Elahi and Moonis Elahi.

The sources said that Pervaiz Elahi does not want the Punjab Assembly dissolved. He also argued that the assemblies should not be dissolved yet, as this would cause complications, and that the matter should be revisited later.

Meanwhile, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain is advising Parvez Elahi on national affairs, according to sources. On the other hand, Chaudhry Shujaat's son, MNA Salik Hussain met Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif in London and delivered him Chaudhry Shujaat's message.

The PML-N has expressed its willingness to accept Parvez Elahi as its chief minister. However, the ruling party is waiting for a solid reply from Chaudhary Shujaat.

Sources said that Parvez Elahi opposed dissolving the assembly after the crucial meeting in Rawalpindi. He suggested Imran Khan avoid haste in dissolving the assemblies.

Assuming the provincial assembly is not dissolved with backing from the PML-N, Imran Khan would be left with the option of his party's lawmakers resigning from the assembly.

Earlier in the week, Imran Khan had said that he would announce the date for the dissolution of the assemblies of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab on December 17. 

Moonis meets Imran

Hours before the CM holding a vital meeting in Rawalpindi, PML-Q leader Moonis Elahi met Imran Khan. He told the PTI leader that the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)-led government can victimise the PTI and PML-Q leadership if the assemblies are dissolved. 

"You are authorized to make a final decision [on the dissolution of the assembly]," Elahi conveyed Parvez Elahi's message to the PTI chairman, according to well-placed sources.

The PML-Q leader reassured the former premier that the assembly would be dissolved whenever the latter asked. Elahi, however, suggested that it was not an appropriate time for the decision. 

The PML-Q leader apprised Khan that the majority of his party’s lawmaker wants the continuation of development work in their concerned areas.

Imran Khan says will dissolve assemblies

Meanwhile, Imran Khan has made up his mind and expressed his intention to dissolve the assemblies, if the federal government fails to announce the date for snap elections. 

On December 14, Khan made public his mind after holding back-to-back consultations with his party's leadership. 

In his address to the nation via video link, Imran Khan said he would announce the date for the dissolution of both assemblies — Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa — on December 17.

"Once we dissolve both the assemblies, we will hold elections in the provinces. Also, our 123-125 National Assembly members — whose resignations have not been accepted — will ask the speaker inside the assembly to accept their resignations," Khan said.