KARACHI: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Naz Baloch on Sunday announced her joining the Pakistan Peoples Party, alleging that the party had deviated from its ‘principled’ stand.
“The PTI has deviated from its manifesto and mission, and instead of the younger generation the old faces have occupied the party,” she said at a joint news conference with Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and PPP MNA Faryal Talpur at the PPP Media Cell.
“The PTI is not the same party now for which we have struggled,” Baloch, who always came on the media and social media to defend her erstwhile party leadership, said.
She said PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s focus revolved around national and Punjab politics and he has neglected Sindh.
“I tried to convince Imran Khan that he must focus [the attention of his party] in Karachi and other parts of Sindh, but he did not pay heed.
“Ideological workers and leaders have been disappointed and are now leaving the party,” she said, adding, “Some people standing on the right and left of Imran are neither young, nor have they rendered sacrifices for the party.”
“This is no secret,” Baloch insisted, “that I have performed my duties under the leadership of Imran.”
According to her, the PTI, which supported the younger generation and called for a revolution in the country, had itself changed.
“I do not want to defame the party with whom I have had a good run,” Baloch said, adding, “I have made complaints about what I feel male chauvinism in the party.”
“By male chauvinism, I mean that only men are present when it comes to decision-making,” she said, adding, “Women do not have any such representation in the party’s decision making and policy matters.”
“I ask Imran to please rescue his remaining party, otherwise the situation will spiral out of control and these people who have their own vested interests will spoil the party mission,” she warned.
Baloch said she worked hard for party on social media and dedicated herself for the party, but Khan totally neglected her.
“In the 2013 general elections, the party bagged around 800,000 votes from Karachi. Our leadership did not realise Karachi’s importance and the only visit the PTI chairman made to the city was for a few minutes.”
She said, “On a number of occasions, I requested him to reconsider his policy about Karachi, but he distanced himself from true workers,” she said.
“Today, I have realised that the PPP led by Bilawal Bhutto is the representative party of the youth of Pakistan and the PTI has become the party of old men,” she said.
In this regard she cited the victory of PPP Senator Saeed Ghani who has won PS-114 by-election and said this had convinced her to join the PPP.
“We have long association with the PPP. My entire family including my father was associated with the PPP. I feel as if I have returned to my home,” Baloch said.
“This is the party where my father along with Zulfikar Ali Bhutto worked for the downtrodden. I will continue their mission with the incumbent party leadership,” she said.
Baloch blamed a group of four people who she alleged were eyeing the coveted post of Karachi division’s president rather than working for the grassroots. “These people are responsible for the party’s defeat in recent by-elections,” she said.
On the occasion, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said Naz Baloch and her father had started off their political career under the guidance of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and added “Baloch’s re-joining the party will strengthen the party’s Karachi chapter”.
Responding to a question about governor’s role in the province, the chief minister said Mohammad Zubair was the representative of the federal government, “but he is not interested in resolving provincial issues”.
When asked about the National Accountability Ordinance 1999 that was repealed by the Sindh Assembly, the chief minister said: “After the 18th Amendment, provincial assemblies are mandated to make laws.”
“We will soon summon the assembly session and discuss issues on which the governor has raised objection(s), Shah said, adding, “The assembly is the supreme decision-making forum in the province,” he said.
PPP MNA Faryal Talpur also welcomed Naz Baloch in the party.