The PPP government lost its majority in the National Assembly after Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) and Mutahidda Qoumi Movement (MQM) quitted the federal government. After pondering over a number of options, the PPP decided to look towards the PML-Q.
For finalising the deal of power sharing, PML-Q leader Ch Shujaat Hussain, Ch Pervez Elahi and Raja Bisharat held a meeting with President Asif Ali Zardari. Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, Makhdoom Amin Faheem, and Raja Pervez Ashraf also joined him.
The PML-Q legislators who were appointed ministers were unhappy with the alliance, calling it a ‘poor deal. In fact, it was a reaction to Chaudhry brothers policy of keeping the contours of the deal secret until the very last minute.
On the other hand, there was also some reservation within the PML-Q over joining hands with the PPP. However, the Chaudhrys of Gujrat were clear enough to pacify the dissidents, but later PML-Q Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa chief Amir Muqam took a different stand and submitted his resignation to the Party chief, Ch Shujaat Hussain. He gave the reason of his resignation as violation of meeting the power-sharing formula between the two parties. He was awarded the Ministry of Production. This development also created cracks in the PML-Q. Muqam was of the view that when talks were held with the PPP, the PML-Q leadership had assured him that their demands for creation of Hazara province and introduction of political reforms in tribal areas would be made part of the agreement. However, Muqam claimed that the party leadership had not shown him the agreement, forcing him to submit the resignation.
Earlier, the two parties agreed to work together and cooperate for strengthening democracy, ensuring electoral reforms, reforms in FATA, creation of new provinces specially in southern Punjab (Seraiki) and Hazara subject to consultation with the people and approval of stake holders, including making appropriate amendments to the Constitution for this purpose.
The two parties agreed to cooperate in a number of areas of concern to the people including economic uplift, controlling inflation, power shortage, transparency and accountability and strengthening of the law and order situation in the country.
According to some reports Ch Pervez Elahi was expected to become Deputy Prime Minister with his camp office in Lahore. However, there were reports that Prime Minister opposed the move and some constitutional and legal experts opined that there would be a need to amend the Constitution to create the post of deputy prime minister. On the other hand, there were also some constitutional and legal experts who gave the precedent of India. In India, L K Advani was made deputy prime minister by the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) government through an executive order without making any amendment in the constitution. Later the idea of appointing Pervez Elahi as Deputy Prime Minister was dropped and he was appointed Senior Minister.
When the PML-Q was negotiating deal with the PPP, they told their members that they were demanding important ministries, among them foreign affairs, finance, petroleum, and water and power, besides the office of the deputy prime minister.
The PPP initially offered the office of UN ambassador to Mushahid Hussain but he refused to accept it and was interested in the foreign ministry.
This marriage of convenience is, in fact, an attempt on the part of both parties to save their skin. The PPP wants to complete its remaining two years tenure and the PML-Q has a desire to protect Moonis Elahi from the National Insurance Company Limited (NICL) corruption case. What would be the result of this coalition, only time will tell.