Formation of Balochistan govt: PML-Q aided PPP on Musharraf’s advice, says Shujaat

Chaudhry Shujaat HussainQUETTA/ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) spills the beans – finally.The party’s supremo, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, revealed on Sunday that his party had helped the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) form a coalition government in Balochistan at the request of former military ruler Pervez Musharraf.

“The PML-Q had 17 to 19 lawmakers in Balochistan – but I couldn’t put together a government. And then former president Pervez Musharraf asked us to help the PPP form a coalition government in the province,” Shujaat told a news conference in Quetta. “Following the 2008 general election the PPP and Musharraf had become partners,” he added.Shujaat also tried to distance himself and his party from the killing of octogenarian Baloch chieftain Nawab Akbar Bugti. “Bugti always trusted me and Mushahid Hussain Sayed (PML-Q secretary general) and our party is not the killer of Nawab Bugti,” he said and claimed credit for raising his voice in favour of Balochistan.

Bugti, along with a group of his diehard loyalists, was killed in a military operation in a cave in the Bhamboor mountain range near Kohlu district in August 2006. Then army chief Pervez Musharraf had ordered the operation and the PML-Q was in power.In October last year, the Balochistan government, on the directives of the high court, had issued arrest warrants for Musharraf and then prime minister Shaukat Aziz. The Bugti family has also announced a bounty for Musharraf. The former military ruler, who is now heading his own faction of Pakistan Muslim League, planned to return to Pakistan and end his self-imposed exile this month, but delayed his homecoming following threats of arrest from the government.

Shujaat and Mushahid, earlier, convened a meeting of PML-Q’s parliamentary party in the Balochistan Assembly to finalise the party’s nominees for the Senate election slated for March, this year. PML-Q parliamentarians and provincial lawmakers attended the meeting.“We will not nominate imported candidates or businessmen. Our candidates will be  picked up from Balochistan not from other provinces,” Shujaat assured the meeting.The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) immediately reacted to Chaudhry Shujaat’s statement. “He’s not spoken the whole truth. The PML-Q and PPP were a team for the approval of infamous National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO),” PML-N Information Secretary Senator Mushahidullah Khan told The Express Tribune.

“The alliance between the PPP and Musharraf was unholy,” he added. Khan said that both the PPP and PML-Q collaborated to form the incumbent government. “But I don’t think PML-Q’s lawmakers in the Balochistan Assembly are still under the command of Chaudhry Shujaat,” he added.On the other hand, PPP Information Secretary Qamar Zaman Kaira refused to comment on Chaudhry Shujaat’s statement. “Since I’ve not seen the statement, I cannot comment on that,” he said.PPP stalwart Senator Raza Rabbani has already moved a resolution in the Senate for pressing treason charges against Musharraf and seeking his trial under Article 6 of the Constitution for ‘suspending the Constitution twice and compromising national security. – Thetribune