Nawaz visits Shujaat to shape the future --- decades after being separated
The episode starting with a fractured PML-N has ended with a divided Chaudhry family
LAHORE (Dunya News/Web Desk) – A history was made Wednesday as two former political friends and allies, who had parted their ways over two decades ago, met once again to contemplate a joint strategy and decide the future of Pakistan.
It was three-time prime minister Nawaz Sharif – accompanied by PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif, Chief Organiser Maryam Nawaz, Khawaja Saad Rafique, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and other party leaders – who visited the residence of Chaudhry Shujaat – located on Chaudhry Zahoor Elahi Road in Lahore's Gulberg area.
Sources say the meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere with Nawaz and Shujaat exchanging pleasantries, as the two sides decided to formulate proposals for seat adjustment in the upcoming elections and form a committee to devise ways and means for a long-term relationship.
However, the top leaders of the two parties will make final decisions on various issues after detailed deliberations at the committee-level by their representatives.
Shujaat was once the second-most important person in the PML-N and had even supervised the affairs of the interior ministry, one of the most important jobs in any government, during Nawaz’s second term in office before forming his own faction of the party only to join hands with Pervez Musharraf – the very person removing, jailing and exiling his former boss.
Later, the senior Chaudhry too served as a premier albeit for a short period to pave the way for Shaukat Aziz after late Zafarullah Jamali was forced to resign in 2004 due to developing differences with Musharraf.
During all these years, the only two occasions where they had a handshake were related to the demise of the Sharif family members – Abbas Sharif, the youngest of the three Sharif brothers, and Begum Kulsoom Nawaz, the elder Sharif’s wife – as Shujaat visited Jati Umra to offer his condolences.
Interestingly, this period also saw politics moving in a full circle as the PML-Q and the once-united Chaudhry family also fell prey to political expediency and stood divided after the two Chaudhrys decided last year to choose rival camps – Shujaat opting for PDM, the then opposition alliance, while Parvez Elahi trying his luck by sticking with the PTI.
Although the PML-Q became part of the coalition government in 2022, the two seasoned politicians, who have played a role in shaping the tumultuous Pakistani politics in different capacities, never had a meeting.
Thus, this symbolic event closed a bitter chapter of the country’s political history. However, it may have left Elahi thinking about his recent political decisions which were influenced by Moonis Elahi – his son and political heir.
Certainly, the costs are massive. Elahi served yet again as the Punjab chief minister for a few months and had to switch over to the PTI while assuming the office of its president. But during the process, he lost his place in the family and is now in jail just like his boss – the former premier and ex-PTI chairman.
At the same time, Moonis is wanted in cases involving corruption, malpractices and money laundering. He is currently in Spain while being declared an absconder in Pakistan.
On the other hand, his foe Nawaz – who Elahi thinks deprived him of the chief ministership in 1990 and 1997 by preferring Ghulam Haider Wyne and Shehbaz Sharif – is eyeing a fourth term as prime minister to write a new history.