PML-N’s Kumar joins PTI, asks Nisar to follow

Says more ruling party MPs will defect to Imran’s party in coming days

Danish Hussain April 08, 2018
Former Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) MNA Dr Ramesh Kumar on Saturday joined the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), citing strong reservations over recent ‘controversial statements and the politics’ of deposed premier Nawaz Sharif.

Kumar announced his decision during a press conference at his residence. PTI Chairman Imran Khan and other senior leaders were also present on the occasion.

Also the Chairman of Pakistan Hindu Council, Kumar was elected to the National Assembly in 2013 on a seat reserved for minorities.

During the press conference, he announced ending his affiliation with the PML-N as “the party failed to meet its promises made with countrymen, including the minority groups, before it came to power five years ago”.

He strongly criticised Sharif’s statements against state institutions and said PML-N’s current politics was only limited to defending beleaguered Sharif instead of focusing on the betterment of the country and its people.

PML-N MNA Kumar joins PTI

The PTI chairman welcomed Kumar to the party and reiterated that his party would protect the rights guaranteed to the minorities under the Constitution at every cost.

With regard to possible delay in general elections due to delimitations, he said that earlier his party wanted early general elections given the deteriorating financial health of the country. “[Now I think] elections should be held on time… and the PTI will not support even a slight delay in this regard.”

Khan said the PTI would ensure “neutral empires [are posted] this time around”. He added the party would take to the streets if the PML-N and the PPP tried to forge any underhand deal to steal the election the way they did ahead of the last general elections.

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“The incumbent judiciary is different from their predecessors. No one has any doubt on their integrity and fairness. I am hopeful that unlike the last general elections, returning officers [who were judicial officers] will not fix the match in favour of any political party,” he said, adding that all the parties, except the PML-N, had blamed that the 2013 elections were rigged by returning officers.

On Asif Ali Zardari’s claim that he would form government in Punjab after 2018 elections, the PTI chief said he was under a wrong impression that he would be able to make government in Punjab through corruption and money. “It is not going to happen in Punjab,” he said.

He said since the Sharifs had no argument to offer in favour of their ill-gotten money and properties abroad, “now they are trying to disgrace the judiciary, NAB [National Accountability Bureau], the JIT and the army in their bid to discredit institutions and save their corruption”.

Kumar, meanwhile, said his differences with the PML-N leadership started in 2014 when Sharif appointed Sadiq ul Farooq as chairman of the Evacuee Trust Property Board instead of Justice (retd) Rana Bhagwandas despite assurances that a minority member, having integrity, would be appointed for the position.

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He said foul language was being used by the PML-N leadership against state institutions after the Panama Papers revelations. “Because of the difference of opinion with the leadership, I never accompanied Sharifs during their hearings at the JIT, the Supreme Court or accountability court,” he said.

The legislator expressed concern over Sharif’s demand to make NAB dysfunctional from the installation of the caretaker setup till the election of a new government, as well as his criticism of the accountability ordinance.

“If the leadership will recommend such foolish things, one cannot stop corruption at the grass-roots level,” he said, adding, “I don’t think this is the Pakistan that Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had envisioned.”

“We witnessed Nawaz Sharif during public rallies asking countrymen to vote for the PML-N so that he could rein in judiciary and establishment,” Kumar said, adding that it was Sharif who failed to handle his party in Balochistan and later blamed the establishment.

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He said the PML-N meetings had been limited to discussing cases against the Sharifs and to devise a counter-strategy.

Kumar also advised former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan to join the PTI and predicted that more PML-N MPs would join the Khan’s party in the coming days.


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