LAHORE, Feb 2: Embittered by the decision of his son Saifuddin Khosa to join the Pakistan People’s Party, Muslim League-Nawaz Senator Sirdar Zulfiqar Khosa on Saturday spoke out his heart on the issue, looking more like a grieved father than a seasoned politician.
The PML-N senator hit out at the PPP for “separating a son from his father”, seeking divine help to strengthen his resolve to go along his party.
“Had the son of a politician of any other party come to me for joining the PML-N (defying his father), I would have asked him to go back. Don’t they (PPP leaders) have children,” a visibly upset Khosa senior said at a press conference. “Now I will contest election against Saifuddin,” he announced.
It is rare to see a politician holding a news conference against a blood relation for ‘only switching political loyalties’ which is otherwise common to the country’s political culture. The country’s political history is replete with instances where the members of same family opt for rival parties.
It was also not long ago when Zulifqar Khosa resigned as adviser to the chief minister and his other son, also Punjab’s former chief minister, Dost Muhammad Khosa, quit the PML-N over certain differences with the Sharifs.
Dost Khosa even lashed out at Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for his “bad governance” and ‘giving preference to bureaucrats to the party MPAs’.
Dost was primarily angry with Shahbaz-led government for what he claimed implicating him in the murder case of Sapna, his actress wife, and his ‘character assassination’.
After that episode, the rumours were rife that the Khosas were going to quit the PML-N and join the PPP. Even President Zardari’s sister Faryal Talpur had reportedly contacted Zulifqar Khosa inviting him to join the PPP.
However, some senior PML-N leaders, including Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, intervened removing the differences between Shahbaz Sharif and the khosas who at last withdrew their resignations.
Saifuddin Khosa, who got elected from NA-173, DG Khan, in 2008 election on PML-N ticket, is of the view that the PML-N stance on the proposed Bahwalpur Janoobi Punjab province may cost it dearly in the south and he does not want to take chances.
“I have joined the PPP because it is sincere with the new province while the PML-N is using delaying tactics,” Saifuddin Khosa said.
Giving details as to why Saifuddin parted ways, Zulifqar Khosa said: “Saifuddin asked me for securing a (PML-N) ticket for the provincial assembly seat I vacated after becoming senator last year for a man of his choice. But the party and I wanted to field my other son Hasamuddin Khosa there. It is sad Saiffuddin opposed his real brother.”
After Saifuddin’s defection, he said, there were rumours that he and Dost Khosa were going to join the PPP. “How can I even think of joining hands with a party which separated my son from me,” he argued. It was unfortunate that he (Saifuddin) put the family’s integrity at stake.
“I pray to God to give me strength to continue supporting my party,” Zulifqar said, adding he never publicly spoke against the PML-N leadership despite having differences with it in the past.
To a question, he said he would have no objection if his arch-rivals, Legharis, joined the PML-N.
While the Khosas now claim credit for not ditching the Sharifs even when they were in exile in Saudi Arabia, the Legharis reportedly argue that because of their presence in the Musharraf government Khosas had no other choice but to stay ‘loyal’ to the Sharifs.