Prominent figures come to Likeminded MPs’ aid against PML-Q references


The matter of references against eight PML-Q lawmakers for violating party discipline took a new turn on Friday, as top lawyers and politicians jumped into action to save the estranged MPs who were issued show-cause notices.
A source in the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) told Pakistan Today that eminent lawyer Salman Akram Raja had drafted the rejoinders for the Likeminded group MNAs. On the other hand, Sardar Maqsood Ahmed Khan Leghari, an uncle of Sardar Awais Leghari, and some influential politicians from Faisalabad and Sindh had contacted PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, and requested him to stop disciplinary action against Sardar Awai Khan Leghari, Asim Nazir, and others. However, the source said that Shujaat was undeterred by the move and was determined to move on with the references.
However, PML-Q Deputy Information Secretary Ghulam Mustafa Malik said: “After requests from different corners, Chaudhry Shujaat has deferred the matter of filing references against the party’s eight lawmakers, and decided to do the same after going through the replies submitted by some of the MNAs who had violated party discipline during the election of Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf.”
Malik said that Shujaat had decided to forward the responses submitted by some Likeminded MPs to his lawyer, who would review the responses and prepare the references in light of the points raised by the estranged lawmakers. The references would then be sent to the National Assembly speaker. “It is a decision in principle by the party leadership that the references would be sent against the party’s defectors and the delay has been made just to make sure that all the points raised in responses are included in the references,” he added. Those who have submitted their replies included Kashmala Tariq, Asim Nazir,
Krishan Chand Perwani, Sumaira Malik, Dr Doniya Aziz and others.
“Under Shujaat’s directions, SM Zafar would submit the references against the party’s eight defecting lawmakers under Article 63-A to the NA speaker soon,” Malik said. Defending the party’s decision to put the references on hold, Malik said that since the references would be decided by the new chief election commissioner, Justice (r) Fakharuddin G Ebrahim, it was necessary for the party to cover all aspects raised by the Likeminded group’s lawyer Salman Akram Raja. All the eight MNAs were elected on PML-Q ticket in 2008 polls. During prime minister’s election on June 20, they refused to vote for Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) candidate Raja Pervaiz Ashraf.