Imran Khan Doesn't Respect Me, Parvez Elahi Tells Moonis

Imran Khan Doesn't Respect Me, Parvez Elahi Tells Moonis
LAHORE: Former chief minister Punjab Chaudhry Parvez Elahi is quite unhappy with his son, former federal minister Moonis Elahi, who convinced Elahi to join Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). Parvez Elahi believes that Imran Khan gives him no importance and is sidelining him from active politics, The Friday Times (TFT) has learnt.

Sources who hail from Elahi’s inner circle confirmed to TFT that the PTI president shared his reservations with his son Moonis in a recent conversation. Parvez Elahi told Moonis that despite having joined PTI and even becoming its president on March 7, he is given "no importance by Imran Khan". 

Elahi merely ceremonial president of PTI 

“I am president of the party but just on paper. In fact, Imran Khan neither invites me to any important party meeting, nor consults me,” sources quoted Elahi as saying. Insiders maintained that Parvez Elahi also said, "I joined PTI after you (Moonis) and Hussain Elahi convinced me to join PTI, but I don’t see any future for us in this party". 

Moonis 'enjoying abroad' while Elahi is facing cases at home

Elahi's confidantes told TFT that the former Punjab CM admonished him because he was "enjoying abroad while I am facing cases here, after joining a party under pressure from you". 

Imran only gives importance to Moonis

Insiders purported that Elahi was also perturbed at PTI chairman Imran Khan giving importance to them only in the presence of Moonis, even though Moonis is Parvez Elahi’s obvious successor. Moonis enjoys cordial ties and "a wonderful relationship" with former premier Khan, but when he is not around, Khan doesn’t give that much importance to Parvez Elahi. 

“You have brought me to point of no return. I don’t see any future for us here, nor are we in any position to rejoin PMLQ,” sources quoted Elahi as saying. It may be recalled that Elahi was the Punjab president of PMLQ and was entrusted with all affairs by PMLQ president and former prime minister Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain. Elahi enjoyed loads of power and prestige in PMLQ, which is no longer the case even though he is central president of PTI and nominally superior to PTI chairman Imran Khan in the party hierarchy, on paper at least. 

Elahi complained of Asad Umar and Shah Mahmood’s attitude 

Political insiders who belong to Elahi’s inner sanctum purported that Elahi was extremely disturbed at losing all his political capital. He also conveyed to Moonis his serious reservations about the attitude of senior party leaders Asad Umar and Shah Mahmood Qureshi. Elahi believes both these senior PTI leaders and former federal ministers are insecure of him ever since he joined PTI. 

Parvez Elahi also lamented that no PTI worker or leader reached his residence at Zaroor Elahi road, or Kunjah House in Gujrat, when raids were made there. PTI leaders visited Elahi after the raids ended, while Imran Khan only tweeted about it. 

Elahi feels ‘politically isolated’

Sources privy to this development add that Elahi claimed whatever he had achieved in his political career, he owed it to Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, who is also his cousin, apart from being a steady guide and mentor in Elahi's political career over decades. "Shujaat kept the family intact and is the main force behind all of Parvez Elahi's political achievements," sources report. 

“It is the political acumen and leadership skills of Shujaat due to which Parvez Elahi achieved all his success in politics. After leaving Shujaat, Parvez has lost an irreplaceable political mentor and trustworthy adviser, who had always stood with him through thick and thin, and backed him no matter what,” sources explained while summing up the politics of the well known Chaudhry's of Gujrat. 

Parvez Elahi's jump into Imran Khan's camp, for the sake of political expediency that he now blamed Moonis for, ruptured the strong bond between the Chaudhry's that had stood the test of Pakistan's turbulent politics. It was not only seen as a political betrayal, but also as a betrayal within the family. It would be nearly impossibly for Elahi to politically rejoin Shujaat, as the distance between the two has engulfed. But sources claim Elahi definitely misses the guidance of Shujaat, since he feels he made "huge political blunders" after parting ways with Shujaat and PMLQ. 

“He is left with no choice but to stand with Imran Khan now, and do so publicly, as he has revealed all of his cards and has nothing more left. Leaving Imran Khan will be disastrous for him and will end his political career as well as whatever respect he enjoys."

Elahi fears PTI won't give him or Moonis Punjab CMship 

Sources maintained that Elahi also conveyed it to his son Moonis that again if PTI comes to power again, Imran Khan might make Buzdar or Ali Afzal Sahi as PTI's new chief minister instead of him or Moonis, despite all the assurances and promises Khan had given them in private. 

“He hasn't given party tickets to other CM hopefuls like Shah Mahmood, Hammad Azhar or Fawad Chaudhry, but that doesn’t mean that he will give CMship to us,” sources claimed Elahi told Moonis. Insiders maintain that Elahi is concerned Imran might go for Buzdar or Ali Afzal Sahi if the party comes to power in Punjab. 

Elahi’s spokesperson refutes 'baseless rumours' 

Speaking to TFT, Parvez Elahi’s spokesperson and former political assistant to CM Punjab, Dr Zain Ali Bhatti said that these were baseless rumours and Chaudhry Parvez Elahi was neither angry nor unhappy from Moonis Elahi. "Nor has the former Punjab CM raised any concerns about joining PTI with anyone for thay matter," Dr Bhatti asserted. 

“Both Parvez Elahi and Moonis Elahi are with prime minister Imran Khan, and will stand with him through come what may,” Dr Bhatti affirmed.

Repeated calls were made by TFT to Moonis Elahi on his WhatsApp number, in order to obtain his side of the story and present a fuller context, but Moonis did not answer and has yet to respond as of the filing of this report.

The writer is a senior correspondent at The Friday Times with a focus on politics, economy and militancy. He also hosts the Hassan Naqvi Show on Naya Daur.