Former SAPM Nadeem Afzal Chan-ges party again, goes back to PPP

Published March 6, 2022
Nadeem Afzal Chan is pictured with PPP leaders after his announcement to rejoin the party. — Photo courtesy: Adnan Sheikh
Nadeem Afzal Chan is pictured with PPP leaders after his announcement to rejoin the party. — Photo courtesy: Adnan Sheikh

Nadeem Afzal Chan, a former special assistant to the prime minister and a senior PTI leader, announced on Sunday that he would be rejoining the PPP, stating that his decision to join the ruling party was "wrong".

Chan had quit the PPP for the PTI in April 2018 and contested the general elections on the party ticket from NA-88 (Sargodha -I), but lost. His brother Gulraiz Afzal Chan is currently a PTI member of the Punjab Assembly from PP-68 constituency of Malakwal.

He had resigned as the prime minister's spokesperson in January last year, reportedly over the delay in the visit of PTI leaders to Quetta’s Western Bypass where the families of the Machh massacre victims were staging a sit-in, demanding justice.

He was also the tehsil nazim of Malakwal in 2001 and his clan was affiliated with the PPP since the early 70s.

Addressing a press conference alongside PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari in Lahore, Chan said that he was a "political worker" and had started his political career around 22 years ago with the PPP.

Chan said he had some family-related compulsions in switching from the PPP to the PTI, adding "my decision to join the PTI was wrong."

He said that he had told PM Imran that he was and will remain a supporter of Bhutto. "In this regard, I think that I have come home. I am extremely happy, everyone knows how happy I am," he said.

"There are many PTI leaders, who hail from the families of old PPP stalwarts, but I witnessed what they went through," he said, thanking the PPP leadership for giving him "respect" and ending with "Jiye Bhutto".

Meanwhile, the PPP chairman welcomed Chan on his return to the party. He said that any worker who had ever raised the slogan of "Jiye Bhutto" or waved the party flag was welcome to the join the PPP. "If this is my party then it is also yours."

Bilawal said opposition parties were striving to ensure transparent elections were conducted so that a democratic government could solve the myriad of issues the people were facing.

The PPP chairman went on to say that the government was facing unprecedented pressure due to the opposition's plan to move a no-confidence motion. "This is the tool that has shaken the entire government to the core and forced it to reestablish contact with its own people."

Bilawal said governments were more likely to succumb to the pressure of a no-confidence motion than any other mode of protest. "It is a difficult task, but we have to endeavour and it is worth the risk. We have to challenge this government," he said.

"No one can guarantee an all-out victory in this struggle and it will be really good if we succeed, but in case of [defeat], we will not sit quiet and will keep pushing the government to go home," he stressed.

Bilawal said former president Asif Ali Zardari, PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif and Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman will be meeting soon to finalise the line of action against the government.

Meanwhile, Senator Sherry Rehman welcomed Chan back to the PPP, saying "Old jiyalas are coming back to the party."

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