PML-Q’s dissidents lining up to join PTI

ISLAMABAD - A group of about two dozen former ministers and dissidents belonging to the country’s major political parties, mostly from the Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q), is negotiating terms with cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan for formally joining his Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf (PTI) or to have an electoral alliance with it.

By Afzal Khan

Published: Wed 9 Nov 2011, 12:01 AM

Last updated: Wed 12 Feb 2020, 3:25 PM

“Yes, we have been in touch with Imran Khan and the people in his party for almost six months and discussing the plan and the nature of cooperation with them to work together to achieve common objectives,” said Ishaq Khan Khakwani, a former minister in the military-led regime of Gen Pervez Musharraf.
Khakwani claimed that his group, led by former minister Jahangir Khan Tareen, had made headway in the talks with the PTI, but made it clear that the group was yet undecided joining the PTI on forging an alliance. The current negotiations were being held focusing on the nature of cooperation between them.
Khakwani said the group came into existence when the PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain decided to join hands with the PPP.
“We dissociated ourselves from the Chaudhrys after their decision to join the PPP and decided to go on our own to provide a new platform to the people of Pakistan to give them a hope,” he said.
Another member of the group, Ghulam Sarwar Khan, who had served as federal minister in the governments of both Gen. Musharraf and Benazir Bhutto, not only confirmed that talks were in progress with the PTI, but also claimed that a number of sitting MNAs and MPAs belonging to the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the ‘N’ and ‘Q’ factions of the PML were also in touch with them.
Awais Leghari, another former minister in the military-led government of former prime minister Shaukat Aziz, however, remained reluctant in confirming his group’s contact with Imran Khan, but said the group in no way could join hands with the country’s three major parties—the PPP, PML-N and PML-Q.
“I am ruling out completely the possibility of joining hands with political mafias of the country on the basis of principles,” said Leghari.
Leghari said the members of the group comprising PML-Q dissidents and some other patriotic elements were concerned over the state of economy and had been holding a ‘serious discussion’ to formulate a strategy not to form the government, but to bring the country out of chaos.
In response to a question regarding the possibility of joining or forming an alliance with the PTI, he said such talks were “premature and too early”.
Imran Khan appearing in a private TV channel’s talk show said his party would admit only those not tainted by corruption. He said election alliances would be considered with parties have identical programmes and ideology just before the elections.

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