Two politicians in central Punjab decided to abandon the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) last week.
Both had joined the PTI only last year after leaving the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q).
Gujranwala PTI President Waleed Akram Bhinder and his father, Shahid Akram Bhinder, on Tuesday joined the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
Earlier, the Kasur PTI president Sardar Muhammad Tufail, a former MNA, and some other potential candidates had rejoined the PML-Q on Sunday.
The elder Bhinder has been an MNA. His son, Waleed, had hosted Imran Khan whenever he visited the district.
Shahid Bhinder told The Express Tribune he had committed a blunder in joining the PTI. He said Imran Khan had no plan to bring the change he promises. He said he preaches against corruption on one hand and joins his hands with the corrupt on the other side. He said, “Imran Khan asked the party to welcome Sheikh Rasheed before joining Rasheed’s public gathering in Rawalpindi. When pressure mounted from within the party, he disowned Rasheed.”
He said he had been elected on a PML-N ticket before joining the PML-Q and was returning to the “parent party.” He said a PML-N candidate had won the NA-97 seat. He hoped he would again be the party’s candidate from the constituency in the next election.
A PML-N handout on Tuesday said the two Bhinders had met with Nawaz Sharif and expressed trust in his leadership.
A PML-Q handout on Sunday announced Sardar Muhammad Tufail from NA-138, Chaudhry Ilyas from PP-175 and Sardar Amjad Tufail from PP-176 in Kasur District would be their party’s candidates in the next elections.
Tufail had joined the PTI along with Rana Imtiaz and Rana Sarfaraz, in Kasur. They are considered rivals of the Punjab Assembly Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan.
Shafqat Mehmood, the PTI central information secretary, said “it was a good sign. The turncoats have started leaving the party.” He said the opportunists leaving the party could not hurt it. “The PTI values its 10 million registered voters, not particular politicians,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 12th, 2012.