Thursday Apr 28, 2016
LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Chaudhry Sarwar on Thursday cancelled a planned visit to London to take part in his son's election campaign amid rumours of growing differences within the senior party leadership.
Sarwar had earlier rejected the rumours by saying that he was leaving on a private trip to London, where he would stay for a week or two. Sarwar said he would participate in the election campaign of his son, Anas Sarwar, who is a British Labour Party politician.
“I have taken permission from Imran Khan. I will come back soon and take up the party duties,” he had said earlier today.
But later in the day, following a meeting headed by Chairman Imran Khan, Sarwar was told to postpone his visit and attend a PTI rally on May 1.
Khan reportedly advised Sarwar to participate in his son's election campaign after the May 1 rally.
"I will fully participate with party workers in Sunday's rally," Sarwar said following the meeting, which was also attended by other senior leader Jehangir Tareen, Shafqat Mehmood, Hamid Khan, Aleem Khan, and others.
Political analysts were speculating that Sarwar's earlier decision for sudden departure to London had to do with differences with the PTI leadership which emerged in recent days and were reported extensively by the media.
Earlier this month, at a dinner hosted by PTI leader Shafqat Mehmood ahead of an intra-party election, senior leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi had publicly lashed Chaudhry Sarwar and his closest supporter Jehangir Tareen.
“I would prefer to quit politics rather than begging these people (Tareen and Sarwar) for a party ticket. They can never influence the issuance of party tickets. I have always done the politics of principles and will award tickets purely on merit, if given any position in the parliamentary board,” said Qureshi,
Blasting Sarwar, Qureshi said when Punjab police was killing PTI workers, Sarwar was sitting comfortably in the Governor’s House.
Qureshi claimed that the party was being damaged in the name of unity. “How can these political children teach us politics,” he remarked.
He said “if any rich person thinks about making decisions in the party as per his wish, it is his misapprehension.”
Shafqat Mehmood and Chaudhry Sarwar are running for the slot of PTI Punjab President.
Two groups, one led by Qureshi (Nazriati Group) and other by Tareen (Unity group), are contesting the party polls to be held on June 4.
Qureshi, who joined PTI in late 2011 after quitting PPP, is supporting Shafqat.
Sarwar, who served as the Punjab governor, joined the PTI in 2015 after resigning from the ruling PML-N.