Some influential figures in the camp of the Chaudhrys of Gujrat have renewed their efforts to bridge the gap between the head of their ally and ex-premier Imran Khan and the powers that be, ahead of the July 17 vote.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) is using its ‘good offices’ to help the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman and major power players patch up their differences, as the leadership considers it absolutely vital to win most of the seats in the by-election to form its government in Punjab that would ultimately pave the way for early general election.
Insiders said some senior PML-Q figures in the Pervaiz Elahi camp supporting the PTI were making efforts for a patch-up but no breakthrough had been achieved in this regard.
Stakes are high for Mr Elahi, the Punjab Assembly speaker, who is a joint candidate of PTI and PML-Q for the slot of Punjab chief minister against Hamza Shehbaz of the PML-N.
“We are making hectic efforts for the victory of PTI candidates in the by-polls, as some Gujrat-based Q workers are busy in electioneering for the PTI in Lahore and some other parts of Punjab as per the directions of the senior party leadership,” a senior party leader told Dawn.
He claimed that some “other channels are also being explored to ensure PTI-Q victory as this is a do or die for us and Khan Sahib”.
A senior politician and former federal minister Ijazul Haq, who also recently held a special meeting with Mr Khan, Mr Elahi, Fawad Chaudhry and Sheikh Rashid, had already admitted that they had been making efforts for a rapprochement between Mr Khan and the power corridors.
“Now fresh efforts have been launched in this regard. Khan has been told to stop making indirect references to the army chief,” the PML-Q leader disclosed.
Mr Elahi, who had earlier ruled the Punjab province as chief minister in the 2002-07 Gen Musharraf government, “always takes pride in supporting the establishment”.