LAHORE, Sept 24: Former PIA chairman Chaudhry Ahmed Saeed, who is brother of Federal Water and Power Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, embraced Pakistan Muslim League-N here on Monday.

He called on PML-N President Nawaz Sharif and Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif in Model Town here. Expressing his full trust and confidence in their leadership, Saeed announced his decision of joining the party.It is the second setback for the ruling People’s Party in Gujrat district within three days. Earlier, two elders from Nawabzada family of the district, ex-MNA Nawabzada Mazhar Ali Khan and ex-MPA Nawabzada Muzaffar Ali Khan, abandoned the PPP to join the PML-N last weekend.

The PML-N is pinning high hopes on the new entrants for countering PML-Q leaders Chaudhry Shujaat and Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi in their home district.

Until the last day, the PML-N leadership was not sure, despite being a friend of the Sharifs, whether Saeed would join the party as a senior party leader.

An MNA from Lahore was quoted as saying in a recent reception for the Indian foreign minister that “Saeed will not join the party and all efforts in this respect will bear no fruit”.

Though Saeed himself had never contested polls, except in 1977 for the provincial assembly seat, it is stated that he is the real political force and strategist behind the twice election of brother Mukhtar against Chaudhry Shujaat.

A senior PML-N leader hopes that the new entry will serve as a morale booster for the party activists in Gujrat where they lacked a big name and a dependable candidate.

He says the party may be able to find a winning combination for the district where the Chaudhrys are holding a sway, particularly after entering into an electoral alliance with the PPP.

“Whether Saeed wins or not, at least he will not prove to be a liability for the party.”

Saeed’s son Arif Saeed is chairman of Tevta. Ahmed Saeed served as PIA chairman during the rule of Gen Pervez Musharraf, who came into power after ousting Nawaz’s government in 1999.

The posting, it is said, created serious differences between the brothers as Mukhtar was in prison in those days.

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