Chaushry Shujaat Hussain. - file

PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain on Tuesday denied reports of a rift within the Chaudhry family and the party, saying all decisions taken had his “complete backing”.

His statement comes a day after the PML-Q finally put its weight behind embattled Prime Minister Imran Khan as he faces a no-trust motion by the opposition in the National Assembly in exchange for the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) announcing Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi as its candidate for Punjab chief minister after incumbent Usman Buzdar tendered his resignation to the prime minister.

The PML-Q is a crucial ally of the PTI government in Punjab and Centre, with 10 and five seats, respectively, and the Chaudhrys support to PM Imran Khan is being seen as a revival of his hopes to save his government.

It was reported that the PML-Q camp was happy to get the lucrative offer from the government, however, some in the Chaudhry family were not happy about going with the PTI, and their discussions over the issue continued till late in the night.

Media reports yesterday also suggested that there was a split among the Chaudhrys after their party’s MNA, Tariq Bashir Cheema, resigned as federal minister and said he would vote in favour of the opposition’s no-trust motion – in clear defiance of his party. News channels reported that other PML-Q lawmakers were expected to follow Cheema.

Denying the impression of an internal split, Shujaat said those who wanted to gain political mileage by “falsely propagating differences” would end up disappointed. “Some rumours were being pushed and circulated about alleged differences within our family,” he noted, terming these reports “baseless”.

“I do not believe in [giving] explanations but I would like to say that I am considered the head of the family,” he said, adding that “an opinion on a particular issue should not be presented as a decision with an intent to exploit it for political gains.”

The number of youth, according to him, in the current assembly was more than that in the previous assemblies. “It would be wrong to accuse them of any wrongdoing.”

Allegations of bribery were “uncalled-for”, he said, adding that “wise and educated people do not like such terms”.

Shujaat said his family was spread all over Pakistan, and not just Punjab, for the last 50 years and reiterated that all decisions in the family were taken with his consent.


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