Imran sings praises of PML-Q over assembly dissolution advice.

LAHORE -- Hinting at a possible merger of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and PML-Q in the days to come, PTI Chairman Imran Khan acknowledged the role played by PML-Q leader Moonis Elahi in helping materialise the dissolution of the Punjab Assembly.

In a meeting with the media at his residence on Friday, Mr Khan said the PTI and PML-Q had gotten closer after the latter supported his party in the recent difficult times - from a legal contest with the opposition to eventually the chief minister signing off on the assembly's dissolution.

Mr Khan had been vehemently seeking the dissolution of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies since announcing his plans for quitting both the houses at the conclusion of his party's long march in Rawalpindi on Nov 26.

The PTI chief told the media that the PML-Q leadership had shown magnanimity by not indulging in any bargains or seat adjustment demands while taking a decision on the dissolution of Punjab Assembly. He said the KP Assembly would also be disbanded soon.

He further said the process for installation of an interim government would begin after the 48 hours the governor had to decide on the dissolution summary lapsed.

The PTI would finalise three names for an interim chief minister and send them to Chief Minister Parvez Elahi for onward consultation with the opposition leader in the Punjab Assembly. He hoped an impartial interim CM would be appointed to pave the way for free, fair and credible elections.

Answering a question, the PTI chairman said it would be hard for the Pakistan Democratic Movement to extend the tenure of the interim government in Punjab, claiming the new military leadership could not afford this.

Responding to another question, Mr Khan revealed that the PTI was not sure of achieving the magic number of 186 to win the vote of confidence for CM Elahi as he was continuously monitoring the 'score'. However, he said, the ruling allies ultimately succeeded.

When contacted, a PML-Q senior leader said about the PTI chief's prediction of a merger of both parties: 'All options will be considered during consultations to be held soon.' He added the consultation for finalising names for an interim chief minister had not started yet.

Sources said the former prime minister had also hinted that President Dr Arif Alvi could ask the prime minister to take a vote of confidence from...

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