LAHORE: Former president Pervez Musharraf’s All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) suffered a blow on Tuesday when Central Media Coordinator and General Secretary Punjab Chaudhry Fawad Hussain parted ways with the party.
Fawad is likely to join Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) along with 100 party workers, former legislators and political heavyweights in the coming weeks, The Express Tribune has learnt.
Fawad’s reasons for quitting had a familiar echo of marginalisation to those cited by others who’ve recently joined PTI. The former member of APML said he quit because his advice regarding the arrival of Musharraf was not honoured and he had been ignored in the core meetings of his party.
According to an email he sent to Musharraf which was forwarded to the media, Fawad resigned because his “sincere advice on various political matters has not been given due weight”.
Fawad said that last month, when APML held its public meeting in Lahore, he was not on board – and resultantly the gathering flopped.
Sources said the former central media coordinator will bring almost all party office-bearers from Punjab and former legislators. They added he has even persuaded his uncle, Chaudhry Shahbaz Hussain who is currently the party’s chief coordinator, to join PTI with him. In the coming weeks, Hussain is likely to announce his decision to join PTI.
Sources also added that Fawad was likely to contest the upcoming general election from Jhelum district, his family’s traditional constituency.
Fawad, however, has not confirmed publicly his intention to join PTI and has said that talks with PTI, Pakistan Peoples Party and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid were ongoing. Asked about whether Musharraf would comply with the stated deadline of his arrival in Pakistan, he said that it was doubtful.
PTI’s Central Information Secretary, Shafqat Mehmood, said he has ‘just learnt’ that Fawad had quit APML, but said he had no knowledge of whether he was joining PTI or not.
APML’s former Punjab Information Secretary, Javed Badar, lashed out at Fawad, calling him an ‘opportunist man’ who left an already shaken APML when Musharraf needed his support most. He added that APML was now disintegrating over monetary issues and tussles over control of party funds.
Earlier, former federal law and parliamentary affairs minister Sardar Sher Afghan Khan quit the APML.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 18th, 2012.