PML(Q): ‘P’ stands for pariah now
Zahur Elahi Road, located in Lahore's prestigious Gulberg locality, has remained closed to traffic and the general public since December 27, the day Benazir Bhutto was assassinated at her Rawalpindi rally.
The heavily fortified road is the residence of Chaudhry Pervez Elahi, former chief minister of Punjab and provincial head of what Pakistanis fondly refer to as the "Kings Party", or the Pakistan Muslim League (Q). Elahi's house is closely guarded by Punjab's elite police force because there are fears that rioters and protestors will attack the residence to vent their anger at the death of Bhutto.
All around Pakistan, a houses and offices of the PML-Q have been attacked by protestors who say that the PML-Q leadership may have had a hand in the killing. "People are angry with the PML-Q and want to teach them a lesson," says Malik Tariq, a Lahore resident.
The PML-Q (Q stands for Quaid) is not really a political party but more of a cobbling together of like-minded interests by the President Pervez Musharraf's government as a foil to the moderate leadership to Bhutto's Pakistan Peoples Party and Nawaz Sharif's PML-N party. Asif Zardari calls them the PML-Qatil (murderers) while the English-language weekly, The Friday Times refers to the party as the PML-Quislings.
The irony here is, however, that after chances of a political understanding between President Musharraf and Bhutto evaporated last year, Musharraf threw in his lot with the PML-Q. Many members of the caretaker government announced by the President belong to the PML-Q.