Timeline: Switching loyalties

April 03, 2013


Two months to go until the election and already more than a dozen politicians have switched loyalties in order to beef up their portfolios. There are also instances of disgruntled members having left their parties and aiming to contest as independents. The switching activity, although foreseeable at the time, has also surprised many in the country’s political circles.

Dawn.com takes a look at those who jumped ships from January 2013 onwards.

April 27, 2013

A former minister in Benazir Bhutto's first cabinet, Raja Shahid Zafar, joined PML-N from Rawalpindi.

Three of Shahid Zafar's friends are already in the electoral fray. They are Jaffar Hussain Shah from PP-6, who also contested the 2008 elections in the same constituency and got 16788 votes; Chaudhry Waris from PP-9 and Chaudhry Masood Akhter from PP-10.

These three candidates will also announce retirement from the electoral arena in favour of the PML-N.

April 24, 2013

Vice president PML-F of Larkana city, Mushtaque Ansari, along with another party candidate, Lala Asghar Sheikh announced joining PPP. Ansari announced his decision at a press conference, in the presence of Sindh Assemble speaker Nisar Ahmed Khuhro.

April 22, 2013

The Sindh United Party suffered a setback after party vice president, Shah Mahmood Shah announced his loyalty to PML-N. The declaration came at a big public gathering in Tando Allah Yar where PML-N cheif, Nawaz Sharif was to address the crowd.

Speaking about his decision, Shah said he has been accused of working for the PML-N even after parting ways. "So now, I will work openly for Mr. Sharif."

April 18, 2013

The ten party alliance in Sindh suffered a setback in Nawabshah, after PML-N's Sardar Sher Mohammad Rind announced contesting elections as an independent candidate. The decision came as alliance named PML-F's Syed Zahid Hussain Shah a joint candidate from Nawabshah-I.

Speaking to the media in a press conference, Rind said that it is sad the alliance discriminated against him, for a person who has lesser chances of winning. He added that though he will contest elections as an independent, he would "gift the seat to Mian Nawaz Sharif after winning it."

April 17, 2013

Former federal minister, Sikander Bosan left Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf to join Pakistan Muslim League N (PML-N). Regarded as a PTI heavy weight from Multan, Bosan's move came as a setback for the party.

In a press conference afterwards, Bosan said that his decision came after a meeting with Shahbaz Sharif and took the decision with the "consent" of his voters.

April 13, 2013

Former PPP MPA Ghulam Sarwar Siyal along with two of his relatives, resigned from party's basic membership, in a protest against party ticket given to Siyal's foe Altaf Hussain Unnar.

Addressing a press conference in Larkana, Siyal who won from PS-35 (Larkana) in 2008 general elections, said the party awarded ticket to Unnar, knowing fully well his questionable past record.

April 10, 2013

A PML-N leader Haji Shahid Noor joined PML-Q along with his associates and family members. In a press conference held at Peshawar Press Club, Noor criticised PML-N for distributing party tickets on the basis of 'favouritism and nepotism.' In the presence of PML-Q provincial general secretary, Intikhab Chamkani and Dr. Shaukat, Noor said that there is no place for honest workers in PML-N.

April 9, 2013

The well known and influential Sherazi brothers of Thatta decided to quit Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and contest elections as independent candidates on Tuesday. Speaking about their collective decision at a press conference held in Thatta, Shafqat Shah Sherazi said they were "disappointed" by the behaviour of PPP top cadre towards its workers.

According to reports, the decision came after PPP nominated Awais Muzaffar Tappi on PS-88 Ghorabari seat. Mr. Sherazi expressed reservation over party's decision for fielding an "anti-Sindhi" candidate on the coastal constituency.

The same day, Ghulam Qadir Malkani, from Thatta also announced quitting PPP and joining forces with the Sherazi group. According to reports, either Malkani or his brother will contest elections against PPP's Owais Muzaffar Tappi.

April 6, 2013

PPP woman wing’s president of Thatta chapter Ms Fehmida Shah and her husband, former MPA Shafique Ahmed Shah Bukhari, along with their colleagues joined the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) on Saturday.

They announced the decision of joining MQM during their meeting with the party’s Coordination Committee.

Accompanied by Dr Farooq Sattar, Ms Nasreen Jalil and other members at 90 Azizabad, Ms Shah said that she and her family had been associated with the PPP for last 35 years. However, she said that the party without Bhuttos (Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto) is not the same anymore.

April 2, 2013

Former District President of PTI's Women Wing from Peshawar, Farzana Zain, announced ending her long association with the party and joined PML-N along with her associates. Addressing a press conference at Peshawar Press Club, Zain said that Khan's movement for justice gradually turned into a "movement for injustice." She said that she raised the issue of "inter-party injustices" many  a times, but it fell on deaf ears.

She alleged that lack of merit, during the distribution of tickets for upcoming general elections, based on personal likes, caused her and many other activists to quit the party. During the presser, Zain was accompanied by provincial chief organiser of PML-N Youth Women Wing, Sobia Khan and central secretary information, Youth Wing, of PML-N, Ali Yousufzai.


Former squash player, Qamar Zaman quit PTI and joined PML-N on Tuesday. Announcing his decision during a press conference in Peshawar Press Club, Zaman said that he joined PTI thinking he will bring about change, but added that it turned out to be a party "with old faces and without a vision." On joining PML-N he said that Nawaz Sharif is the "only politician" who can take Pakistan towards the path of development and prosperity.

March 23, 2013

Fayyaz Ali Khan Lund and Babar Ali Lund, influential politician brothers from Ghotki, Sindh, announced that he is joining PML-F and quitting PPP for good. Fayyaz said that he is quite disappointed by the "lukewarm response" from the PPP cadre and thought it better to move. He said that he has already contacted PML-F general secretary Imtiaz Sheikh, and the party chief, who promised to give them party tickets for constituencies that they desire.


Former National Assembly speaker, Fakhar Imam announced to join PML-N on Saturday. Imam announced his decision after a meeting with PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif at his Lahore residence.

Imam's wife, Syeda Abida Hussain joined PPP in 2006. Both husband and wife were previously affiliated with PML-N and later left it for PML-Q. But they could not stay with the party long enough and later left it to join PPP. Their daughter, Syeda Sughra Imam is the member of the Senate.

Imam served as the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly from 1985 to 1986. He was later appointed as the speaker of the National Assembly in 1986 to 1988.

March 18, 2013

PPP lost two of its strongest party members from Fatehjang, Attock. Haji Sardar Ishtiaq Ahmed Khan quit the party along with his close ally and former Fatehjang Tehsil Nazim, Sardar Iftikhar Ahmed Khan.

Previously party president at Tehsil level and a PPP candidate from PP-17, Ishtiaq cited rising differences with the party leader and former state minister for defence Sardar Saleem Haider Khan. Addressing a press conference, he said that being his close friend, Khan chose an outsider to contest elections on the party ticket from PP-17. As a result he decided to quit.

According to reports, this is the second shock to the PPP in last two weeks. Previously another local leader and a strong candidate from the PPP, Sardar Sikander Hayat left the party and joined Pakistan Tehreek e Insaaf (PTI) on March 6.


In a big blow to PPP's standing in Lyari, Karachi, former MNA Nabeel Gabol decided to join MQM on Monday, to "serve the people of Lyari." He will be fighting elections from Azizabad, according to reports. The decision, though pending for a year, was ultimately taken after Gabol had differences with the Peoples Aman Committee of Lyari. Speaking with reporters at MQM headquarters Nine Zero, Gabol said that he chose MQM from among various options, because "Altaf Hussain stood by me in difficult times."

Though it was rumored that Gabol will join either Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz or Pakistan Tehreek e Insaaf, his decision to side with MQM came as quite a surprise to many.

March 14, 2013

After openly criticising PML-N leader, Mian Nawaz Sharif, for having links with banned militant outfits, Sheikh Waqas Akram of PML-Q joined the party after a meeting with Shahbaz Sharif on Thursday. Akram said that all his reservations have been removed after the meeting with CM Punjab and he feels "happy" over his inclusion in the party.

March 11, 2013

Three prominent leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League - Quaid joined PPP. National Assembly members Shah Hasan Sherazi and Mohammad Ali Malkani along with Sindh Assembly MPA Ayaz Shah, announced joining PPP at a press conference. A formal announcement, however, will be made at a public gathering in Thatta on March 16.

Though PML-Q has had little presence in Sindh, Sherazi is hopeful and claims their plan of action for the people of Thatta was accepted by the PPP cadre.

Sherazi started off his career with the PPP in the 90s but later parted ways to join PML-N in 1997. However, after winning a National Assembly seat as an independent candidate in 2002, he joined PML-Q.

March 6, 2013 Former provincial minister and senior PPP member, Sardar Sikandar Hayat, decided to join PTI after a meeting with Imran Khan.

Imran Khan. -File photo

Sources said Hayat’s decision may have a significant impact on PTI’s position in Attock in the coming election.

March 5, 2013

Former Intelligence Bureau chief and member of the PTI’s Central Executive Committee, Masood Sharif Khattak, resigned from the party alleging “horse-trading” in its recent intra-party elections. A potential candidate from Karak, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, he initially joined PTI over its slogan for change and gradually got frustrated with the “indifferent attitude” of Imran Khan to the people of KP. Khattak, however, wishes to contest for a National Assembly seat as an independent candidate.


In a serious blow to the PPP, the former president of the party's Balochistan chapter, Nawabzada Lashkari Raisani, joined PML-N along with a group of 22 politicians. Raisani made the announcement after a meeting with Nawaz Sharif.

Among others those who joined the party are Mir Humayun Kurd, Tahir Mehmood Khan, Raheela Durrani, Ayub Khoso, Muhammad Riaz Advocate, Haji Mohammad Raheem, Haji Mehmood Khan, Naeemur Rehman, Chaudhry Zubair Jan, Asadullah Jan Raisani, Ismail Gujjar and Chaudhry Rafat.


Raja Muhammad Asad Khan, an MNA from Jhelum, announced to contest the next election as an independent candidate rather than a nominee of the PPP, the party he had joined recently along with his father Raja Muhammad Afzal and brother MNA Raja Muhammad Safdar Khan after ditching PML-N.

Lashkari Riasani. -File photo

March 4, 2013

Chairman of Sooba Hazara Tehreek and former PML-Q leader Sardar Mohammad Yusuf joined PML-N along with his supporters, including MPA Wajiuzzaman Khan.

Yusuf switched sides after a meeting with Nawaz Sharif’s son-in-law, Mohammad Safdar, and PML-N’s provincial president, Pir Sabir Shah.

February 25, 2013

A provincial minister from the Awami National Party (ANP) from Karak, Mian Nisar Gul, quit his ministry as well as his basic party membership. Those close to Gul said he was expected to join Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam – Fazl if awarded a party ticket, otherwise he would contest the election as an independent candidate.

February 15, 2013

PPP suffered a major setback in Punjab as nine of its legislators joined PML-N. The decision came after the party members had a meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.

The members who switched over are: Nishat Ahmed Daha, Syed Jamil Shah, Rana Babar Hussain and Abbas Zafar Hiraj from Khanewal district, Rana Munawwar Hussain and Sardar Kamil Gujjar (Sargodha), Javed Alauddin (Okara), Qaiser Sindhu (Gujranwala) and Uzma Zahid Bukhari, an MPA elected on a seat reserved for women.

PPP leader Qamar Zaman Kaira tried to play down the defections, saying “PML-N is relying on Lotas to rule Punjab”.


Shahbaz Sharif announced in the Punjab Assembly that two PML-Q MNAs, MNAs Dewan Ashiq Bokhari and Pir Mohammad Aslam Bodla, had also joined the PML-N.

Shahbaz Sharif. -File photo

January 20, 2013

In an interesting case of musical chairs, former PML-N MNA and Senator, Raja Mohammad Afzal, and his two scions, Raja Mohammad Asad Khan and Raja Mohammad Safdar Khan, from Jhelum joined PPP at a time when a PPP MNA from Sindh was expected to join PML-N.

They announced their decision to join PPP in a press conference at Bilawal House. However, there was resentment among PPP workers in Jhelum as they thought the Rajas would ditch the party after securing benefits.

Research and compilation by Saher Baloch