- “Party is standing by its “old decision”, but consultations for the new decision are taking place,” says Pervaiz.
- “Party has not made any decision that could cause any harm to PTI,” he adds.
- Pervaiz says Zardari is a “strong person and he is our ally”.
ISLAMABAD: Speaker Punjab Assembly Pervaiz Elahi has claimed that 10-12 government lawmakers were in “safe custody” of the Opposition as the political temperature in the country rises ahead of the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan.
In an interview with Dunya News, the PML-Q leader — whose party is a key ally of the PTI in the Centre and Punjab — said: “The 10-12 government lawmakers also approached me, but now they were nowhere to be seen.”
“We have tracked them down; they are in the Opposition’s safe custody. The government is actually more concerned about them. The ones who they looked forward to [for support] have stated they are now neutral. No friendly country or institution will come near this matter,” he claimed.
Meeting with Shahbaz; Imran Khan ‘honest’
Talking about PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif, Elahi said he had held a telephonic conversation with the leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, however, no meeting has taken place between them as of yet.
“Imran Khan is an honest man and our party will try working beside PTI and not separately,” adding that his party has not made any decision that could cause any harm to PTI.
Talking about the final decision over the no-confidence motion, Pervaiz said his party has stood by its “old decision”, but consultations for the new decision are taking place.
He also said that the Opposition parties have “offered” him the post of the chief minister, while the prime minister hasn’t held any discussions regarding it.
On Tareen group
The Punjab Assembly speaker said that the Jahangir Tareen group still holds the point of ousting Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar. “We did not end our relationship with Buzdar,” he said.
Discussing the Opposition parties’ meeting with political leaders for their support, Pervaiz said: “Member of the Tareen faction Awn Chaudhry has also met Hamza Shahbaz.”
He also said that some members are in contact “with our party”.
Zardari an ‘ally’
Responding to a question if PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari is an ally, Pervaiz said that Zardari is a “strong person and he is our ally”.
He further said that there is a fear of confrontation between the government and Opposition as both the parties are gathering people in the Federal Capital. “Clashes always lead to the destruction of the government.”
Talking about Minister for Water Resources Moonis Elahi, Pervaiz said that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has denied any case against the party leader.
‘Party has neither quit govt, nor joined Opposition’
In a statement earlier in the day, the PML-Q leader had said that his party has not quit the ruling coalition, nor has it joined the Opposition.
“Prime Minister Imran Khan is honest, and his intentions are also good,” Elahi said on Wednesday in a statement that could be considered a fence-mending move.
In an interview with a private TV channel Tuesday, Elahi had said that all allies of the government have a 100% tilt towards the Opposition.