By Rauf Klasra
ISLAMABAD: Former Punjab chief minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi publicly snubbed former president Pervez Musharraf at their last meeting, asking him to abstain from interfering in the PML-Q affairs by instigating palace intrigues against the Chaudhrys of Gujrat.
An insider said the remarks of Pervaiz Elahi were greatly enjoyed by Musharraf as he was comparing the statements of the same person a few months ago to his present views. Until a few months back Pervaiz Elahi was promising to elect Gen Musharraf as the president of Pakistan for 10 terms in office.
Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, his brother Wajahat Hussain and cousin Pervaiz Elahi recently met Musharraf in Rawalpindi to discuss the dramatic situation brewing in the PML-Q with reports circulating that the former president was behind these palace intrigues.
The meeting came after a series of interactions between Pervaiz Elahi and Musharraf. It was being said that Musharraf wanted to become the new president of the PML-Q, so Pervaiz Elahi approached former IB chief Brig Ejaz Shah to convey a message to Musharraf to lay off.
Sources said after getting an unsatisfactory response, Pervaiz Elahi picked up the telephone and talked to Musharraf to convey his displeasure directly over his alleged intrigues. Some of these plans were discussed at late night meetings at homes of his personal friends in Lahore while listening to songs of young Rahat Multanikar.
But sources said Musharraf laughed off these charges and told Pervaiz Elahi that he had no aspirations to replace them as he was happy playing golf and bridge with his friends. Musharraf felt that he was being accused by the Chaudhrys to get sympathy in the media and political circles to stay in the power race.
This clarification did not satisfy the tense Chaudhrys of Gujrat as they decided to meet Musharraf in person in a bid to read his mind before launching their own plans to deal with the retired general.
Another purpose of this meeting with Musharraf was to give a loud message to the media, politicians and even the rebels within the PML-Q, that they still had a deep and personal relationship with the former president.
Signs of desperation were also obvious when the Chaudhrys were seen visiting the house of Dr Qayyum Soomro, the private secretary to President Zardari.Musharraf was accused of using some rebel MPs in the PML-Q to head a campaign against the Chaudhrys. These rebels had thrown in the name of a comparatively unknown MNA Israr Tareen from Balochistan to lead the former ruling party in the lower house of parliament.
The rebels had chosen two names from Balochistan to lead them in the National Assembly, former chief minister Jam Yousuf and Israr Tareen. The rebels were interested in bringing someone from the smaller province for political reasons. The group was repeating the old trick of the Chaudhrys, who had successfully brought a dummy prime minister Zafarullah Jamali to block strong politicians like Humayun Akhtar, Farooq Leghari or Khurshid Kasuri. The Chaudhrys had killed two birds with one stone.
The rebels group thought that elevation of Tareen would do a Jamali on the Chaudhrys but they decided to confront Musharraf head on.Still, sources said, it was only a matter of time before a motion was submitted in the National Assembly to appoint a new parliamentary leader of the house after showing no-confidence in Faisal Saleh Hayat. Faisal is said to have tendered his resignation to Pervaiz Elahi.