Punjab govt lacks vision, right team to run province: Elahi


While subjecting the top leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), party president Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, to scathing criticism for “lacking the vision and right team to run Punjab”, Senior Minister Pervaiz Elahi said on Friday that he would never like to destablise the Punjab government.
“We want them (the Sharifs) to be exposed before the people. The people should know for themselves what they are capable of. So we will let them run the full term,” Elahi said in an exclusive interview hosted by Pakistan Today Editor Arif Nizami for Pakistan Today and Samaa TV. The interview covered almost the entire gamut of politics, from the Sharifs’ handling of the affairs of Punjab and their future plans, to what led the Chaudhrys to form an alliance with the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), once an anathema to them and their elders besides being poles apart ideologically.
However, it was for the governance in Punjab that Elahi reserved his greatest lashings for Shahbaz Sharif. He was, however, full of praise for President Asif Ali Zardari and his political acumen, suggesting that the alliance between the PPP and PML-Quaid was getting along nicely, with the Chaudhrys having no time or desire to look back.
POLITICAL ARRANGEMENTS: When asked about the prospects of a merger of Muslim League factions and rumours of a Nawaz-Shujaat meeting in Saudi Arabia – the reports of which even took the Chaudhrys by surprise – he said with conviction that the “time for such political arrangement is over”. He held Nawaz Sharif responsible for the failure on this front.
“In the past, efforts were made to unite the Muslim League but they failed because of Nawaz Sharif’s arrogance. He never came out of his shell of arrogance, revenge and hatred to see the changing realities in the world of politics,” said Elahi. The minister said the next general elections would be performance-based. “Parties and candidates will seek votes on the basis of performance of their parties,” he said.
He said Nawaz believed in solo flight when the future was of coalition politics, therefore he had no chance of getting a heavy mandate, as was the case in 1997. To a question about the PML-Q’s alliance with the PPP and how it became possible, he said there was no last word in politics. “The political leadership needs to set healthy examples,” he added.
He said there was a time when Nawaz Sharif unleashed unprecedented victimisation on PPP leaders, bringing a bad name to the country’s politics. Then he entered into reconciliation with the PPP, which culminated in the Charter of Democracy, and then he spent more than three years with the PPP in the government, he added. “And now he is back to square one,” he said.
He said Nawaz left the country after an agreement with the Saudi government, and he did this without consulting his party. He said the PPP brought a positive approach to politics and a philosophy of “live and let live”, and that positive approach was now paying off. He said if nothing spectacular happened, the country was bracing for the next general elections.
SEAT ADJUSTMENT: He said his party would seek seat adjustment with the PPP as a separate political entity in the coming elections and PML-Q candidates would woo Muslim League’s traditional voters on the basis of the party’s performance in the past and present. He said the Sharifs’ bungling in all areas of governance had highlighted his government’s achievements in the past, and now people remembered the days when the PML-Q was in power, especially in Punjab.
He said the Punjab government failed to add even a single bed to its hospitals. “Imagine what would have happened to dengue patients had I not increased beds in the hospitals during my time [in office],” he said. “We left over Rs 100 billion in the exchequer, but now Punjab is bankrupt thanks to the ill-conceived schemes of this government. Where does the Sasti Roti Scheme stand now after wasting Rs 30 billion? The government also wasted billions on Sasta Bazaars,” said Elahi.
SHAHBAZ COMPROMISED: He said Shahbaz Sharif had compromised the interests of Punjab for petty politics. He said Punjab had emerged as the biggest loser when Shahbaz abandoned the IT Tower project, for which Rs 300 million had to be paid to the Chinese as compensation. He said now the World Bank was saying that had the Punjab government continued the policies of the previous government, the results would have been much better in the province.
He said originally, the traffic police were to be used for crime prevention and the PML-Q government had equipped them with guns and wireless, but the current Punjab government had taken away the guns and wireless, making them unfit for law enforcement. He said his government had built 46 colleges across the province, but the Punjab government, which was more interested in developing Daanish Schools, was not ready to run them.
He said unfortunately the Daanish Schools were modeled on Aitchison, while the Punjab government’s mandate was to provide education to the common man, not the elite.


  1. Mr. Elahi, you and your partners Chowduries also the same.. we had seen your time too. You all are bunch of idiots and crooks.

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