Punjab Assembly Speaker and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) leader Pervaiz Elahi has revealed that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has postponed its second long march to Islamabad till after the Punjab by-elections to be held on July 17.
In an interview with BBC Urdu, Pervaiz Elahi, who is a major ally of the PTI, said that PTI Chairperson and former prime minister Imran Khan has decided to delay his plans to hold a long march till after July 20, three days after the by-elections in Punjab.
“Imran [Khan] will do the politics of dharna after the elections,” Elahi told BBC Urdu, adding that Imran would be spending all of June campaigning in Punjab ahead of the by-elections.
By-polls are being held in July for 20 of the 25 seats that were left vacant after the Supreme Court de-seated the 25 dissident PTI MPAs who voted against Khan in the vote of no confidence held against him.
The Punjab Assembly speaker said that he was an ally of Imran Khan but added that he was ‘not his slave’, and that if something wrong was done, he did not shy from speaking up and fixing it.
In response to a question about Imran’s insistence on military intervention, Elahi said that in Pakistan politicians cannot plan anything without the establishment.
“You will have to appoint a new Election Commission chief and chairman NAB, for example. They [establishment] will bring all the other parties together,” he said.
While Elahi denied that there were any rifts in his own party PML-Q, he did admonish Salik Hussain, the son of the PML-Q chief, for being a political novice.
“Salik has come into politics for the first time,” said Elahi. “He won a seat in Chakwal that my son and I prepared for him. His [voters] are now looking for him to ask what are you doing?”
Although Elahi has denied ruptures in his party, another PML-Q MNA Hussain Ellahi recently announced his departure from the party.
Similarly, Pervaiz Elahi’s son, Moonis Elahi retweeted a video clip of a news bulletin announcing a split within PML-Q, with Moonis Elahi, Hussain Ellahi and Pervez Elahi on one side and Tahiq Bashir Cheema, Salik Hussain and Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain on the other.