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PM wants Parvez to ensure Senate victory from Punjab

The senior PML-Q leader is part of a three-member committee of the ruling coalition in the province.

GUJRAT: Prime Minister Imran Khan has tasked Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Parvez Elahi with playing a pivotal role in clinching maximum seats in the Senate from Punjab.

The senior PML-Q leader is part of a three-member committee of the ruling coalition in the province. Its other members are Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and Governor Chaudhry Sarwar. The committee will devise a joint strategy for the success of the coalition’s nominees in the Senate election due to be held in March.

The decision was taken in a meeting between the delegations of both coalition partners in Islamabad on Monday that was chaired by Prime Minister Khan. The PML-Q delegation comprised Mr Elahi, federal minister Tariq Basheer Cheema and MNA Moonis Elahi, while federal ministers Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Pervaiz Khattak and Shafqat Mehmood assisted the prime minister in the meeting.

Sources said that during the meeting, the PM formally endorsed his party’s decision to back PML-Q candidate Kamil Ali Agha in the Senate polls and asked Mr Elahi to utilise his experience to ensure the candidate’s victory.

Meanwhile, Mr Elahi invited the PM to inaugurate the newly built Punjab Assembly building and also thanked him for visiting their Lahore residence to inquire after PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat last month.

Matters relating to national politics were also discussed during the meeting. Both the coalition partners have been engaged in talks on the PML-Q’s reservations over the local bodies system in Punjab.

However, when asked by this correspondent, Moonis Elahi said the local bodies system was not discussed during the meeting with the PM.

Responding to another question, he dispelled the impression that his father, Parvez Elahi, was being given a new key role in the Punjab government, saying the provincial assembly speaker would only play his due role in the Senate elections.

Though the PML-Q only has 10 seats in the Punjab Assembly and five in National Assembly, but it has an important place in the current political scenario, which is why the PTI leadership has decided to accommodate the Q’s wish of having its nominee in the Upper House of parliament as well as benefiting from Mr Elahi’s experience in Punjab’s politics, analysts remarked.

Published in Dawn, February 4th, 2021

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