ISLAMABAD -UNS : On the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) between the PPP and Pervez Musharraf two days before the 2008 election, a meeting between a US delegation and former prime minister Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi portrayed the future political scene of Pakistan. The delegation told the Chaudhrys the US would not accept the results if their party (PML-Q) won the election.
It is revealed by Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain in his book, “Sach To Ye Hai.” He said that two days before the 2008 election, he got a message from Joe Biden who became US vice-president later, Senator John Kerry, who became US foreign secretary, and Chuck Hagel, who had been US defense secretary, that they wanted to meet him and Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi.
“At the time I was in Islamabad. The three US senators reached our residence in Lahore and had a meeting with Pervaiz Elahi. They straightaway said: ‘No doubt, in your tenure of government, excellent work in health and education was done but even if your party (PML-Q) wins the election, we won’t accept the results,” Shujaat writes.
He says, “It was strange to hear such a thing from the US senators. Pervaiz Elahi asked them how would they (the US senators) feal if their rival senator utters the same remarks about you? The three senators laughed, and said a similar impression has been created.
“Pervaiz Elahi replied that there is a big difference in the impression and the result; how can you say this before the result? The three senators fell silent but before leaving Pakistan, gave a statement to CNN that America would not accept the results in case of the PML-Q’s success.”
Shujaat writes, “After the meeting with the American senators, Pervaiz Elahi came to me and said a conspiracy has been hatched against us because of our intense opposition to the NRO between General Musharraf and the Pakistan People’s Party. We will be defeated in the election. The statement of the American senators confirms it. It happened so that on the election day before the polling ended, Gen Pervez Musharraf phoned me and said ‘Chaudhary Shahib, you would get 35 to 40 seats. Accept the results and do not object to it. I said what are you talking about, counting has not started yet and you have announced the decision. We were getting information from different sources that a plan has be made to defeat our 25 to 30 big figures in the name of making the election ‘credible’ and my name too has been put on the list. Later, when I asked Gen Musharraf about it, he would beat about the bush. Besides, a conspiracy was hatched to remove me from the party presidency.”
“In those days, Pervez Musharraf called a meeting in which, besides me, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, Farooq Leghari, Hamid Nasir Chattha, Khursheed Kasuri, Faisal Saleh Hayat, Chaudhry Ameer Hussain, Mian Manzoor Watto, Humayun Akhar and Sheikh Rashid were also present.
“Musharraf told meeting that Asif Zardari had no issue working with him but the Chaudhrys (Shujaat, Pervaiz). Quoting Zardari, Musharraf said that the PPP chief was not only willing to make government in the Punjab with PML-Q but also give it representation in the federal cabinet.” At this, Shujaat writes, the party leaders burst out. Faisal said “what are you saying. We curse such ministries.” Farooq said he had difference with the Chaudhrys on many issues in Punjab but would never support removing them from the party leadership.
Musharraf then looked to Chattha and Wattoo and asked them to speak as they had raised that proposal. Chattha and Wattoo said “we didn’t mean that.”
Shaujaat writes that the drop scene of the drama to remove him from the party chair was quite interesting. He writes that Chathha was sent to Zardari to learn what exactly he wanted. Zardari told Chattha that he never talked about removing the Chaudhrys from the party leadership, rather he wanted to remove Musharraf from the Presidency and would go for his impeachment if he didn’t quit voluntarily. Hearing this, Musharraf was enraged and uttered an epithet.
Shujaat writes that Richard Armitage had also confirmed the plot to fail them, during a meeting at the US consulate in Lahore where Pervaiz Elahi, Wasim Sajjad, SM Zafar, Khalid Ranjha and Mushahid Hussain were also present.
Shujaat says that to his question, Armitage said that “two good friends” and Condoleezza Rice orchestrated their (Chaudhrys defeat). The two good friends were Musharraf and Tariq Aziz.