ISLAMABAD: Chief Minister of Punjab Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi has come to the rescue of former Army Chief General (Retired) Qamar Javed Bajwa who is facing criticism from both the ruling and the Imran-led opposition parties for his indulgence in politics.
In an interview with a private TV channel, Pervaiz Elahi said God ‘showed’ his party the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) the ‘right path’ through Gen Bajwa who advised them to support Imran Khan during the no-trust move.
Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi’s statement has come a day after Imran Khan’s much-telecast interview in which the former prime minister accused Gen Bajwa of playing ‘double game’ and orchestrating his ouster from the Prime Minister’s office.
Replying to a question, Pervaiz Elahi said as the no-trust move against Imran Khan was progressing into the final stage and the time had come for his party to decide whether to support the move or oppose it, Gen Bajwa called for him and asked him to support Imran Khan.
Later, the no-trust move was successful and Imran Khan was sent packing yet the PML-Q stood by Khan both in the national and the provincial assemblies.
A few dissidents of the party, however, parted ways with Pervaiz Elahi in the National Assembly and backed the move but Pervaiz Elahi’s son Moonis Elahi who is the Member of the National Assembly and held the portfolio of federal minister decided to support Imran Khan.
Gen Bajwa should be acknowledged for services to nation
Elahi said Gen Bajwa rendered valuable services for the country and everyone should acknowledge them. It is unfortunate those who should be thankful to him are criticizing him, said Elahi without naming anyone.
Pervaiz Elahi’s comments are in contrast with Imran Khan’s interview in which he ‘admitted’ he had committed a “big mistake” by granting Gen Bajwa an extension and alleged that Gen Bajwa despite denying allegations of underhand agreement with Imran Khan’s rivals had in fact stood by them.
A few days earlier, Moonis Elahi too had stated that Gen Bajwa had asked them to support Imran Khan.
Time not suitable for elections
Pervaiz Elahi, when asked about the future of the Punjab Assembly and if he was going to dissolve it, did not give a clear answer. On the day I took oath of the office of Chief Minister I had announced I would not hesitate for a single minute in dissolving the Punjab Assembly and I stand by my commitment, he said.
However, in the same breath he said, since Imran Khan was recovering from the last month’s attack on his life, it would be better if we waited for his complete recovery before elections. That might take us four months to reach a decision regarding dissolution of the provincial assembly, he said. Before the month of March, holding of general elections seems a remote possibility, he said.
“It is good if general elections are held early but there is a need that they (the PDM-led federal government) should agree,” he said adding the question of the current Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) also needed to be addressed as Imran Khan on several occasions had said he would not accept elections under him.