MUZAFFARGARH: The PPP suffered a setback in the district as Dr Shabbir Ali Qureshi, the son of former PPP MNA Mian Mohsin Ali Qureshi and Senator Khalida Mohsin Qureshi, announced leaving the party to join the PTI.

The news of his defection was received with anguish by the PPP’s local leaders who thought Dr Shabbir’s was immature and would learn the “hard lesson” in politics soon.

Dr Shabbir’s father, late MNA Mohsin Ali Qureshi, was a middle-class farmer and a diehard PPP worker. The late Benazir Bhutto had awarded ticket to him, ignoring Ghulam Mustafa Khar in 2002 from NA-176, Kot Addu.

As Quershi was not a graduate, he fielded his wife, Khalida Mohsin Qureshi in the 2002 poll who won the National Assembly seat. PML-Q had offered Ms Qureshi a ministry and Mr Qureshi the district nazim slot for joining PPP-Patriot, but the Bhutto loyalist declined the offer.

In 2008, Qureshi, after doing graduation, himself contested the election from NA-176 and won. In 2009, he suffered a brain hemorrhage, remained in coma for five years and died in 2014.

Talking to Dawn, Dr Shabbir Qureshi said he had been “forced” by the attitude of PPP leadership, especially of former prime minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, to leave the party.

He said Mr Gilani refused him PPP ticket for NA-176 which they had won two times and instead obliged his opponent Mian Ghulam Abbas Qureshi’s son Arshad Qureshi. He said his mother’s senator seat belonged to the PPP and she would return it to the party.

He said last week he went to Bani Gala, met with PTI chief Imran Khan and joined the PTI, claiming he would contest next election as PTI candidate from NA-176.

He said he sees Imran Khan as the last hope for Pakistan.

However, according to sources Senator Khalida Mohsin Qureshi was not happy with her son’s decision.

His departure will benefit Malik Ghulam Mustafa Khar who can now get PPP ticket for NA-176 for next general elections.

PPP district president Malik Bilal Khar said despite receiving funds and mega projects from the party the Qureshis proved turncoats.

Published in Dawn, July 2nd, 2015

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