PTI local chapter losing embittered members to PML-N

— Hussain Afzal/File

RAWALPINDI: The ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) appears to be cashing in on rifts in rival Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) district chapter by roping in key activists in the garrison city.

PTI candidates for Nazim Haji Taj Khan and Mehmood Khan Bangash from Sadiqabad in the NA-56 constituency of Imran Khan at a public meeting with former Member of National Assembly (MNA) Hanif Abbasi on Sunday announced that they will be joining PML-N.

PML-N leaders claimed that PTI is likely to lose more members in the next few days.

Know more: Division in PTI’s Pindi chapter comes out in the open

“Many active workers and office-bearers of PTI are in close contact with PML-N and will announce their decision of joining PML-N in the coming days,” former MNA Hanif Abbasi told Dawn.


Workers, office-bearers resentful over suspension of membership and callousness of leadership

Local leaders, workers and even members of provincial assembly (MPAs) appear to be resentful over the suspension of their memberships and the appointment of Ghulam Sarwar Khan and Ijaz Khan Jazi as presidents Punjab North and district chapters respectively.

A senior PTI leader told Dawn that a group who had left Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid-i-Azam (PML-Q) to join PTI were now dominating the party and running its affairs while workers and activists who had been with PTI since the last 20 years are being sidelined.

He said a close ally of Imran Khan was patronising the PML-Q turncoats and had gotten them prominent positions.

“Among these are Sardar Saleem from Murree, Javed Iqbal from Kotli Sattian, Tariq Murtaza from Kahuta, Ghulam Sarwar Khan from Taxila and Ijaz Khan Jazi who are prominent in Rawalpindi District,” he said.

The PTI leader said those members who had been elected to positions in intra-party elections were being sidelined and this was causing resentment among workers who are now turning to PML-N which is offering them better positions.

When contacted, PTI Punjab North former president Sadaqat Abbasi admitted that a few people from PTI had joined PML-N but it was a local adjustment.

“We asked the local leaders to keep in touch with all workers to prevent losing members in the future,” he said.

On the other hand, Haji Taj Khan and Mehmood Khan Bangash said that they joined PML-N because PTI was being detracted by some newcomers and workers were being ignored.

“Imran Khan is involved in negative politics of agitation. Party workers worked hard to help him win in the garrison city but his party and he had left these workers for those coming from PML-Q,” said Haji Taj Khan.

Meanwhile, a public meeting was held on Farooq-i-Azam Road near Sadiqabad Police Station which was attended by more than 400 people. In the meeting, Haji Taj Khan, Mehmood Khan Bangash and Haji Jandool Khan announced their decisions to join PML-N with Khan Baradari in NA-56.

Speaking on the occasion, former MNA Hanif Abbasi welcomed the PTI workers and said PML-N and Nawaz Sharif wanted to bring a development revolution in the country and had launched many mega-projects as part of this policy.

He said the doors of PML-N were open for everyone and because of the people-friendly attitude of Nawaz Sharif, people have come to join the party where their leaders will give them due respect.

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