Zaeem Qadri intends to join Abbasi’s party

Former PML-N Punjab minister vows to stand with ex-PM

Our Correspondent April 16, 2024
Punjab government spokesperson Zaeem Qadri was referring to PTI chief Imran Khan's disqualification from NA. PHOTO: NNI


Zaeem Hussain Qadri, a former Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader has expressed his resolve to join a new political party, which will be launched by former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in the coming weeks.

Abbasi formally moved the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for the registration the party under the Election Act earlier this week. Though, the name of the new party has not yet been released, some unconfirmed reports suggest it could be ‘Reform Party’.

A day after, Abbasi went to the ECP in Islamabad, Qadri, who served as the Punjab minister in then chief minister Shehbaz Sharif’s cabinet, expressed his resolve to stand with Abbasi and would become a member of his party upon its launch.

Qadri, once seen as a hawk in the PML-N until 2017, has been laying low after parting ways with party in 2018 over a dispute over allotment of tickets and other issues with the party President Shehbaz Sharif and his son Hamza.

However, despite publicly criticising Shehbaz and Hamza, Qadri’s wife, Uzma, remained a member of the Punjab Assembly on the reserved seats for women and eventually become an MPA in 2018. She was denied the party ticket in 2024 elections.

Talking to The Express Tribune Syeda Uzma Qadri said that Zaeem Qadri had indeed decided to join Abbasi. When asked if any formal meeting was held with Abbasi or his core team, she confirmed that meetings were going on for quite time some now.

She said that the new party would be launched before Eidul Azha. “Hopefully much before that”, she said, and added that Qadri had waited for five long years for a good opportunity to re-emerge on the political scene.

She revealed that Qadri was approached by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) as well as the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) for the elections, but he had “respectfully declined” the offers. “Joining a party means agreeing to its ideology.”

She said that Abbasi was a seasoned politician and those with him, including Miftah Ismail, had served the country to the best of their abilities. “So, once they get the chance to govern the country, they will steer the country out of the crises it is in.”

According to the back ground discussions, the new party will approach the masses with the pitch that the three main political parties had failed to bring about any meaningful change in the country which necessitates the launching of a new party.

Another PML-N leader and former Sindh governor Muhammad Zubair too seems a potentially suitable name for this new party, though he has not made any announcement in the regard.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Zubair, who also remained a spokesperson for the Sharifs, said that he had, indeed, been approached to join the new party, but emphasised that that he had not decided anything yet.

Zubair said that he would first assess the situation, as to whether he could be instrumental for that party. Secondly, he added, disagreeing with one party did not mean rushing to join another party.


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