MUZAFFARGARH: As the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) is attracting politicians from other parties, MNA Jamshed Dasti is once again fancying his chances of joining the party.
Recalling his participation in the PTI’s Azadi March on Aug 14 last year in Lahore and later ‘dharna’ in Islamabad as a proof of his liking for the party, he told Dawn that he had contacted some leaders of the party and expressed his desire to join it. Currently, he said, he was busy working for local government elections and would field candidates in NA-177 and NA-178 areas.
His close associate, Sohail Ghauri, said if Dasti’s panel won LG elections from these two constituencies, the PTI would agree to award him tickets for these two constituencies in future elections.
On the other hand, some PTI leaders seem least interested in having Dasti in the party as, they allege, he backed out of his commitment of submitting his resignation to the party leadership during the sit-in in Islamabad last year.
Local PTI leader Nawabzada Mansoor, son of Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan, says the party leadership had promised NA-178 (where Dasti was elected as independent candidate in 2013) ticket to him and he hoped that the party would keep its word.
He said Dasti had a reputation of jumping ship as first he fought election from the PPP platform in NA-178 in 2008 and again in 2009 by-election. In 2013, he left the PPP and fought election from NA-177 and 178 and won both seats as independent candidate. After elections, he joined the PML-N but when the party did not give ticket to his brother Javed Dasti for NA-177 by-poll, he left the PML-N.
During Azadi March and dharna of the PTI, he said, Dasti had announced joining the PTI and handed over his resignation to Imran Khan but later withdrew his resignation on the plea that his mother had stopped him from resigning.
Now, when the PTI is contacting the PPP leaders in Muzaffargarh district to join it, Dr Shabbir Qureshi, son of the late Mohsin Qureshi, has so far accepted the offer. His panel candidate for PP-154, Ehsanul Haq Naulatia, who has twice been elected MPA, has refused to leave the PPP.
Similarly, the close associates of Qayyum Jatoi and Moazzam Jatoi, both fromer MNAs from NA-179 and 180, have also refused to ditch the PPP.
Abdul Rehman Khar, a former PPP provincial minister, also aspires to join the PTI and says his father Ghulam Mustafa Khar also should join the party of change.
Published in Dawn, July 6th, 2015