Pakistan: Khan promises Elahi of help for upcoming Punjab CM election

Islamabad, April 6 : Pakistan’s interim Prime Minister Imran Khan, met Chaudhry Parvez Elahi, and discussed a strategy for the upcoming provincial assembly session, and also talked about options of suspending opposition members and dissolving the assembly, Dawn reported on Wednesday. On Tuesday, Deputy Speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari postponed the session of the Punjab Assembly, which was scheduled for Wednesday to April 16, claiming that the session was postponed to complete repair and maintenance work in the assembly hall. Later it was reported that the deputy speaker had superseded his earlier order and summoned the PA to meet at 7:30pm on Wednesday. But a Punjab Assembly spokesperson, in a clarification issued late-night, denied that the session had been recalled on Wednesday. PML-Q leader Moonis Elahi said that the notice circulating on media was ‘fake’ as it did not have a diary number and was written on a plain piece of paper. He asserted that the session would be held on April 16 as notified earlier in the day. The interim prime minister also chaired a meeting, attended by Governor Omer Sarfraz Cheema, outgoing chief minister Usman Buzdar, Pervrez Elahi, Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Fawad Chaudhry wherein they discussed a strategy for the chief minister’s election, which had become inevitable as the outgoing leader of the House could not dissolve the Punjab Assembly. When Imran Khan asked about the number of MPAs likely to vote for their party’s candidate, it was claimed that Elahi had the support of 189 members, including those from the opposition. Khan also met Elahi’s and his son Moonis Elahi separately, and asked them whether they needed his help for the CM’s election to which Elahi said he would ask for it when required. Meanwhile, the PTI has issued notices to its MPAs asking them to vote for the party’s candidate, Pervez Elahi, as the chief minister. “Those who will vote against the party candidate or abstain from voting will be tried under Article 63A of the Constitution,” says the order issued by PTI secretary general Asad Umar. The PTI was also contemplating filing references against those MPs who were meeting opposition leaders or who sat in the opposition benches in the Punjab Assembly during the last session. ACL0946

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