PTI ex-parliamentarian Wajiha Qamar jumps ship, joins PML-N as elections loom closer

Without naming former ruling party, Wajiha Qamar says “force of destruction” has harmed country and people

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(From left to right) PML-N senior leader Ahsan Iqbal, former PTI lawmaker Wajiha Qamar, ex-PM Shehbaz Sharif and Attaullah Tarar. — X/@pmln_org
(From left to right) PML-N senior leader Ahsan Iqbal, former PTI lawmaker Wajiha Qamar, ex-PM Shehbaz Sharif and Attaullah Tarar. — X/@pmln_org
  • Qamar expresses her complete confidence in Nawaz, Shehbaz.
  • Says, PML-N played a “historical role” in Pakistan's progress. 
  • Shehbaz congratulates her for entering into the fold of PML-N.

With the elections drawing near, the exodus of leaders from the Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has gained momentum as one more lawmaker — Wajiha Qamar — of the former ruling party on Sunday announced jumping ship and joined Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

This week, at least three more leaders of the PTI called it quits with the party and joined the Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party (IPP) of Jahangir Khan Tareen — who once used to be a close aide of Khan.

Three PTI female politicians — Andleeb Abbas, Sadia Sohail, and Sumaira Bokhari — announced their affiliation with Tareen's party in a meeting with him.

Qamar was the latest PTI leader who parted ways with the PTI.

Qamar formally announced joining the PML-N during a meeting with the party’s President Shehbaz Sharif. Speaking on the occasion, the former prime minister congratulated her for entering into the fold of the PML-N.

On her part, Qamar expressed her complete confidence in the leadership of Nawaz Sharif, Shehbaz and the party’s manifesto.

While lauding Nawaz, the three-time former prime minister, she said that the party under the leadership of Nawaz played a “historical role” in the progress and development of Pakistan.

Without naming PTI, she said that the “force of destruction” had harmed the country and the people. The former PTI leader urged the people to support the “force of construction”.

The PTI leaders started leaving the party after the May 9 riots. PTI Chairman Imran Khan was arrested in a graft case on May 9, triggering strong protests from the party across the country in which state installations were targeted.

During the riots important military installations, including the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi and Lahore Corp Commander’s residence, were ransacked.

A crackdown was then launched against those involved in the events, leading to the arrest of hundreds of party workers and leaders — including Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

A mass exodus of PTI leaders jumping ship took place after this and many who claimed to leave the party had stated in their press conferences that they had bid adieu to politics.

Several PTI bigwigs who joined the IPP include Fawad Chaudhry, Ali Zaidi, Imran Ismail, Fayazul Hassan Chohan, and Murad Raas. Some others, however, joined PPP, PML-N and other political parties.