PML-Q and PPP seat adjustment talks in peril

ISLAMABAD: The PML-Q put off its decision to separate from the PPP after its chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain received a telephone call from President Asif Ali Zardari before the latter’s departure for Turkmenistan, sources in the two parties said on Wednesday.

After the PML-Q leadership’s decision to defer seat adjustment talks with the PPP, President Zardari talked to Chaudhry Shujaat and articulated his desire to meet him on his return from Turkmenistan, they said.

Validating the telephonic contact, PML-Q Secretary General Mushahid Hussain Syed stated: “President Zardari’s assurance of a quick resolution (of issues) on his return has prevented a breach in the ties between the two parties.”

He further said the PML-Q had called off the seat adjustment talks with the PPP because there was a “deadlock jeopardising their alliance”.

He said resumption of talks depended upon the outcome of a meeting between Chaudhry Shujaat and President Zardari which is expected next week.

Mr Hussain said the PML-Q had suspended the talks in protest over what he called persistent attempts by the PPP to woo its strong and potential candidates and cause defections in the PML-Q ranks.

He said it was surprising that on one hand the PPP called the PML-Q its ally and, on the other it was trying to damage it by causing defections in the PML-Q.

The PML-Q sources said the party leadership had complained to President Zardari several times that Punjab PPP president Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo was trying to cause defections in the PML-Q. The president told the chaudhrys of Gujrat that he had stopped Mr Wattoo from making such attempts.

However, they said, the PML-Q leadership was now upset over reports that Faryal Talpur, had also been contacting its potential candidates.