Tuesday Feb 21, 2023
In a major development, former Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) leader Parvez Elahi Tuesday announced joining the Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) along with 10 of his party's former MPAs, as the political temperature heats up in the country ahead of elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab.
The announcement came hours after PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain — Elahi's cousin — sacked him as the party's Punjab president and revoked his basic membership.
Khan and Elahi enjoy close ties as the former Punjab chief minister vowed to stand by the ex-prime minister and ensure that they will remain in power in Punjab — the major hub of the country's politics.
"After lengthy discussions, Parvez Elahi and other leaders have finally decided to join PTI today," PTI Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry said during a press conference alongside Elahi in Lahore after the ex-Punjab CM's meeting with Khan.
Fawad added that the entire party welcomed Elahi and his aides as they have now set on the path towards a "new Pakistan". "Parvez Elahi has rendered sacrifices and stood by Imran Khan through thick and thin."
Upon Elahi's insistence, Fawad told journalists that the party has also decided to appoint the former PML-Q leader as PTI's president and the senior leadership has also green-lighted the decision.
"We will move forward over this step in line with our party's constitution," Fawad — whom Elahi had criticised last month but later withdrew his statement — said.
For his part, Elahi said that the PTI chief has promised of appointing him as the party's president due to his sacrifices during the party's tough times.
“I have supported Imran Khan during difficult times and proved my loyalty through chief ministership," said Elahi who lost the top office after dissolving the assembly last month.
Recalling the days when he dissolved the Punjab Assembly at the desire of the PTI chief, the former CM said that he would do everything which in turn is beneficial for the country.
In a statement earlier about sacking Elahi, Shujaat said that the former Punjab's chief executive "is banned from using PML-Q’s name in the future".
The party’s president had earlier issued a show-cause notice to Elahi on January 16, suspending his membership for talking about the possibility of his party's possible merger with the PTI.
The notice mentioned that Shujaat called an urgent meeting of the senior leaders, where it was noted that the provincial president — Elahi — did not have the authority to merge the party with the PTI.
He was also sent a notice for summoning the party’s non-constitutional meeting in Lahore on January 26. Positions of people appointed in the party by the former chief minister have also been withdrawn.
Elahi was asked to respond to the party’s show-cause notice within seven days clarifying his position on merging the PML-Q with the PTI, as no provincial president can do so constitutionally.
The party also questioned the former chief executive of Punjab for conducting a “fake” and “unconstitutional” meeting, violating the code of conduct.
“While acting against the party’s central leadership, you attempted to plot its dismissal. This step by you has caused immense damage to the party,” the statement read.
After the politician or his representative failed to issue a clarification, Elahi was dismissed from his positions and basic membership of the party, as per the Constitution’s Party Act 2006.
“Chaudhry Parvez Elahi and his aides/companions/followers could leave Q league to join the PTI,” a senior leader of the party, Chaudhry Shafay Hussain, said.
He added that members elected on PML-Q’s seats could resign and leave the party. “Parvez Elahi has no right to merge the PML-Q with the PTI.”