‘Elahi played a key role in persuading Musharraf for early polls’

November 14th, 2007 - 10:31 am ICT by admin  

According to a senior Pakistan Muslim League (Q) leader, the party prevailed upon Musharraf not to delay the parliamentary polls even by few weeks.

Elahi convinced Musharraf for January elections, “arguing that the PML was now better placed and well-entrenched to win the polls,” The News quoted the PML leader, as saying.

“When our popularity has reached a crescendo, even minor deferral would be harmful for us,” Elahi told Musharraf.

The month of Moharram starts on January 10. Elections are avoided not only in this holy month, but till the Chehlum as a mark of respect to the Shia community, the paper said.

“We argued with Musharraf that it would be advisable to hold the elections before the advent of Moharram and he agreed,” the PML leader said.

He said that the party feels it has a large array of winning candidates, especially in Punjab, which seems to be its main priority and concern. It thinks that no other political party contesting the elections matches its contestants and claims that its main formidable opponent, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), is finding it too difficult to get suitable candidates.

“Pervez Elahi convinced Musharraf that it was because of the PML’s aggressive policy and blunders of its rivals that it has remained united. As a result, it has faced no large-scale defections that were expected before the return of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto to Pakistan,” another PML was quoted, as saying.

Elahi also briefed the President about his two-month-long tour of all the districts of Punjab, and asserted that his party would have a smooth ride in the elections.

The leader further said that some PML member wanted to delay the polls as they thought they were weak in their constituencies, but because of being in minority, their voice was not heard.

“We told Musharraf that steps like the imposition of emergency, suspension of the Constitution and the removal of superior court judges have no doubt damaged the PML, but the damage would multiply if the elections were not held as early as possible,” the PML leader said.

The daily said that not only the PML but also Musharraf and his senior aides believe that the prevailing high anti-government sentiments, because of the strike against the superior judiciary, would drown in the din of the election campaign as everyone would be concerned more about the next polls rather than resorting to agitation. (ANI)

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