Influential politician Sikandar Hayat Bosan has suggested that he may join Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), giving the party an additional boost in Southern Punjab as it prepares to welcome former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi to their side.
“I have a soft corner for Imran Khan,” Bosan told The Express Tribune on Tuesday. “I will announce my decision in two or three days.”
Bosan, among the most powerful politicians from Multan, defeated Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani in an election there in 1997.
Bosan said he had been considering various options after he was not invited by Jehangir Tareen to a meeting of his ‘Clean Party’ in Islamabad.
Tareen, who chaired two meetings in Islamabad, invited only a select group of politicians, most of them from Southern Punjab, but not Bosan. Tareen is also believed to be considering an alliance with the PTI.
A close friend of Bosan said he was also being wooed by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the party whose ticket he ran on when he defeated Gilani in 1997.
Ijaz Chaudhry, the PTI chief organiser for Southern Punjab, said a party team would formally call on Bosan at his residence in Multan on Friday. “We will deliver Imran Khan’s special message to him,” he said.
PTI Information Secretary Omar Sarfaraz Cheema said that efforts to unite the PTI and the ‘clean party’ were ongoing. “Some of them may join PTI,” he said. “Our party’s focus is on inviting electable candidates from the rural areas of Punjab and Sindh.”
Published in The Express Tribune, November 16th, 2011.