ISLAMABAD: Imran Khan on Monday added more ‘notables’ to his motley bandwagon of political cohorts by inducting close to 30 seasoned politicians from the Pakistan Muslim League-Q . In the process, Imran Khan added more clout to his national stature by dealing a significant blow to the Pakistan People’s Party vote bank in South Punjab and interior of Sindh.
Majority of newly inducted politicians into PTI belong to the Pakistan Muslim League-Q, who had parted ways with the Chaudhrys of Gujrat after their decision to join the PPP-led coalition.
Some of them also belong to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) and are serious contenders in the next polls.
The party now appears to be on a direct collision course with the ruling PPP.
PML-F MNA Jehangir Tareen’s aspirations to launch a party of ‘clean’ politicians remained unfulfilled, meanwhile, as he formally also joined PTI on Monday.
“I joined PTI because it fulfils the mission we wanted to pursue as well – to get rid of traditional political elite of the country,” said Tareen, reflecting upon his decision to join the party.
“I withdrew my decision to launch my own party because our [Khan and Tareen’s] cause is the same cause,” Tareen told The Express Tribune.
Imran Khan, in his address said, “We don’t believe in politics of compromise. PTI is struggling to achieve a mission of establishing rule of law through the independent judicial system.”
Although most of the heavyweights joining PTI now belong to the country’s political elite, they have decided to shun feudally-tainted politics, according to Khan.
The PTI chairman claimed that those who were joining his party were doing so without setting any preconditions.
“They are coming as they know that the ‘tsunami’ is going to sweep the next general elections,” he proclaimed, adding that allotment of party tickets will be subject to strict screening by the party parliamentary board.
Responding to a query about a ‘silent ceasefire’ with MQM, he said that in present circumstances, PTI is only focusing on those who are in power but it did not imply that he had compromised on principles.
Awais Leghari and his brother Jamal Leghari, political scions of the late former president Farooq Leghari, also announced they were switching over to PTI after being disenchanted by the decision of the Chaudhrys to join hands with President Asif Ali Zardari.
Other notables who joined the party on Monday include former MNAs Sikander Bosan, Ghulam Sarwar Khan and Ishaq Khakwani, Dr GG Jamal, Ghulam Sarwar Cheema, Senator Mohabbat Khan Marri, former Senator Saadia Abbasi and Abid Hassan, former World Bank chief in Pakistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 20th, 2011.