Federal Minister for Water Resources Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah on Friday said that Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi had messed up things by joining hands with former premier Imran Khan, and claimed that general elections would be held in August 2023 after the completion of the government’s constitutional tenure.
Khursheed Shah, during an interview, claimed that matters with the leadership of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) had already been settled and the new Sindh governor would most probably be the joint candidate of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) Nasreen Jalil.
He said she would take the oath of her office as the new Sindh governor within the next 15 to 20 days. Khursheed Shah said that Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa would retire in November this year as the media wing of the armed forces (ISPR) had already informed the media that he was to retire in November and had no intention of getting another extension.
The senior PPP leader said General Bajwa was a professional general and man of principles; hence it would be futile now to discuss more on his scheduled retirement.
Replying to a question, he said that Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari had been advised to take some rest and he would come to Pakistan within the next few days after he was allowed by doctors to fly back home. He said that parties within the PDM would contest the next general elections on a joint platform but each party would contest polls on its own separate election symbol.
He said that former premier Nawaz Sharif could return to Pakistan since things were now favourable for this return. Khursheed Shah repeated his party’s proposal that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) should first dissolve its governments in two provinces and then raise the demand for early election in the country.
He told journalists at Syed House in Sukkur that everyone should act within the bounds of the constitution. If Punjab Chief Minister Parvez Elahi came to Islamabad and lived in his own house, it would be called the chief minister’s house, but if he resided in someone else’s house then it would not be called the chief minister’s house, he said. He said that if someone, whether he was a provincial or federal minister or even prime minister, had conspired against the country then everyone should be equal before the law. He demanded that a commission consisting of retired judges of the higher judiciary should probe the case of prohibited funding.
He said Imran Khan was speaking against the Pakistan Army while “we criticise the role of establishment and we never speak against the army”. He recalled that heads were decapitated, leaders sent to the gallows and Benazir Bhutto was martyred, still “we never went against soldiers”.
The senior PPP leader revealed that the MQM-P leadership had refused to be part of the Sindh cabinet for certain reasons; instead, they wanted to get slots of the chairman of municipal corporations.