The district was riddled with protests after Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) senior vice president Makhdoom Javed Hashmi said that he will be joining Pakistan Tehrike Insaf (PTI) on Saturday.
In a brief talk with reporters, Hashmi said he has decided to join PTI in the larger interest of the country and would make a formal announcement in this connection very soon.
Pakistan Muslim League (N) workers gathered on the lawns of Hashmi’s residence while many others crowded outside the main gate to try to stop the veteran PM- N leader from going to the airport and to reconsider his decision.
A series of protests continued all over southern Punjab against Hashmi’s decision. Several protests were organised by the Muslim student’s federation, a student union of the PML (N) in academic institutions, the women’s wing of the PML (N), PML (N) workers and members in provincial assemblies. PML-N workers burnt pictures of Javed Hashmi and called him a traitor to the party. “He is a lota for leaving the party in its time of need. His leaving is purely for financial and political gain,” said a PML-N women wing member Razia Shah.
PML-N workers said that Hashmi had changed parties after demanding tickets for his son in law and daughter and for continuously demanding ministries for his family. Women wing PML (N) vice president Qurban Fatima raised slogans against Hashmi and told The Express Tribune that he was demanding special offices for his family members. Ehsaan uddin Qureshi, lead a protest in Multan with thousands of workers that Hashmi was more interested in getting power than proving his loyalty to the party.
Protests have been organized even in Jhang, Sargodha, Layyah, Muzaffargarh, Bahawalnagar and Bahawalpur against Hashmi for leaving the PML-N. “The slogan used to be ‘aik bahadur admi: Hashmi Hashmi but not it is ‘aik beghairat admi: Hashmi, Hashmi,” said PML-N MPA Rana Mehmood.Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek Insaf (PTI) demonstrations in favour of Hashmi’s decision were also witnessed across southern Punjab.
PTI south Punjab wing and civil society coalition came forward on the roads all over the province to counter the series of protests against Javed Hashmi by the PML (N). PTI South Punjab head Ijaz Janjua organised a press conferences in favour of Javed Hashmi and told reporters Hashmi had a spotless reputation and his joining the PTI was a boon for democracy.
Talking to tribune he said that Javed Hashmi decision is against the status quo supporters and will strengthen PTI all over Pakistan.
Maroof Khan, president of the youth wing of thecivil society coalition said “we are all enamoured with Javed Hashmi as he has set an example for the youth of Pakistan. The PML-N workers who are trying to malign his name are only proving their own insecurities and their poor judgement,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 25th, 2011.
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