ISLAMABAD: With elections are only a few months away, the season of changing political parties has already set in as another ruling party member and MNA from Gujranwala, Mian Tariq Mehmood, on Tuesday announced that he had decided to join Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI).
Mr Mehmood, along with a former MPA from the city, Mian Mazhar, called on PTI chairman Imran Khan at the latter’s Banigala residence and invited him to visit Gujranwala where they would formally join the party in presence of party workers.
Senior PTI leaders, including Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Jahangir Tareen, Asad Umer, Abdul Aleem Khan and Shehryar Afridi were present in the meeting.
On Feb 17, Omar Ayub Khan — former MNA from Haripur and a son of former National Assembly speaker Gohar Ayub Khan — quit Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and joined the PTI.
Talking to Dawn after his meeting with Imran Khan, MNA from Gujranwala Tariq Mehmood said that Mr Khan had accepted their invitation and he would be visiting his residence on March 16 where he would hand over his resignation from the assembly seat to the PTI chief, besides formally joining the party.
When asked about the reasons behind his decision to quit the PML-N at a time when the elections were round the corner, Mr Mehmood alleged that the PML-N leadership had sidelined them for no reason and they had been “feeling cornered” for the past many months. He alleged that on the directives of Punjab government, the local administration was constantly ignoring them and they were unable to help the people of their constituency in getting their issues resolved.
Published in Dawn, February 28th, 2018