The PML-Q and its allies have started a campaign to muster support for President Pervez Musharraf both inside and outside parliament in the face of other parties’ demand for his resignation.
Some PML-Q leaders met the president at the Army House twice on Wednesday. One of the meetings which took place at midnight involved MNAs elect Chaudhry Wajahat Hussain from Gujrat, Sumaira Malik from Vehari, Sheikh Waqas from Jhang and Riaz Fitiana from Toba Tek Singh.
The meetings were followed on Thursday by a flurry of activity at the residence of Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain who had invited a number of politicians to a luncheon meeting.
Party sources said that some newly elected MNAs and senators and senior leaders of other allied parties, except the PPP-S, discussed at length ways of helping the president out of the situation that he is now facing. Prominent among those who attended the meeting were MQM senators Col (retd) Tahir Hussain Mashhadi and Mohammad Ali Brohi, Justice (retd) Abdur Razzaq Thaheem of PML-F, former Sindh chief minister Arbab Ghulam Rahim, Senator Salim Saifullah Khan, Sumaira Malik, Hamid Nasir Chattha and Mohammad Ali Durrani.
Later, talking to journalists, Chaudhry Shujaat said that the PML-Q and its allies would remain united in parliament to play the role of a positive opposition.
About his meetings with President Musharraf, he said that the president was the constitutional head of the state and everyone would have to accept his position. The president, he said, was ready to receive leaders of any party who wished to meet him.
He claimed that the statement of PML-Q’s Secretary-General Mushahid Hussain Sayed about a possible support for a move to repeal 58(2) b article was his personal opinion and not the party’s policy.
He said the article was made part of the Constitution as a check and balance lever to ensure that no government went above the law of the land.
He said he had called MQM chief Altaf Hussain, PML-F leader Pir Pagara, NPP’s Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi and PPP-S leader Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao to discuss the matter and they had assured him that the erstwhile coalition partners would remain united in opposition.