LAHORE: Former PPP vice president Mian Manzoor Wattoo has finally bidden farewell to the party and joined the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) here on Sunday.

PTI central leaders Jehangir Tareen, Federal Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan and Punjab Senior Minister Aleem Khan visited Mr Wattoo and formally invited him to join the party. He was also offered to contest the by-polls for NA-103 (Faisalabad). A family source said Mr Wattoo had accepted the offer as he already had the intentions to fight for the seat that he had won in a past election.

Mr Wattoo, who is also former chief minister of Punjab, had violated the party (PPP) discipline by contesting the July vote as an independent candidate.

He had struck a local seat adjustment with the PTI in a bid to win but in vain.

There were reports that Wattoo was likely to join the PTI because his son, Khurram, and daughter, Rubina Shaheen, – both holding various PPP offices – had already embraced the PTI and contested the recent general election from its platform.

The PPP, which had fielded its own candidate for NA-144 (Okara-IV), didn’t take disciplinary action against him.

Talking about the episode, PPP leader Farhatullah Babar had said the Wattoos would die their political death so there’s no need to initiate any disciplinary action against them.

“When senior party office-bearers like Manzoor Wattoo Sahib do what they have done, they only diminish themselves more than undermining the party. It is then immaterial whether customary disciplinary action is taken or not. Laws of nature are stern, unforgiving and immutable. Diminishing one’s own self is a self-inflicted disciplinary action. One can’t say anything more and one doesn’t have to,” Mr Babar had then responded to a Dawn query in this regard.

Published in Dawn, September 24th, 2018

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