Big dent to PPP as Ahmed Mukhtar's brother joins PML-N
25 September, 2012
LAHORE: Gujrat politics have once again taken a twist, as the brother of PPP minister Ahmed Mukhtar has joined the opposition party PML-N, to contest next general elections from his family's ancestral constituency, NA-105.
Chaudhry Ahmad Saeed took the decision of changing his party after a two-hour-long meeting with the Sharif brothers at their Raiwind residence on Monday.
Saeed had formerly served as chairman of the Pakistan International Airlines and Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited. He was also a representative of the PPP in Gujrat region and looked after political issues at the local level in the absence of his brother, Mukhtar.
According to a statement, Saeed met PML-N President Nawaz Sharif in the presence of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and decided to join the PML-N.
During the meeting, Saeed discussed political situation in the country and got some commitments, including a PML-N ticket from Gujrat's NA-105 in the next general election, sources said.
The PPP has already received shocks from the influential Nawabzada family of Gujrat, as diehard party members – former MNA Nawabzada Mazhar Ali Khan, former MPA and former Gujrat district council chairman Nawabzada Muzaffar Ali Khan, former opposition leader in the district council Nawabzada Tahirul Mulk and others – joined PML-N three days ago, opposing PPP's alliance with the PML-Q.
Party sources informed our sources both Mukhtar and Saeed have already managed some links with Sharif brothers since mid-August when they were insisted by President Asif Zardari to join hands with their local rivals, the Chaudhrys. Mukhtar and his family did not accept the decision and started looking for other options to secure and continue their political independence against the Chaudhrys in Gujrat.
Following that, PPP sources and close aides said, the Mukhtar family secretly met with the PML-N leaders within the last one-and-half month and finally agreed on a political commitment.
PPP sources said this was a good time for Mukhtar to get some political space for his family in another political party after sending his brother to the PML-N when President Zardari, who was the guarantor between Chaudhrys and Mukhtar, was not in the country.
And now Mukhtar would be in a better position to pressurise the PPP to grant him a party ticket from his ancestral seat against the Chaudhrys. He would also able to justify his brother's act before the president as an independent decision, however his own loyalties are still with PPP and he will continue his politics from there, the sources said.
The sources further said Mukhtar could also show his anger and join the PML-N before next general election if Zardari doesn't consider the former's political importance in Gujrat and doesn't give him a party ticket from the area.
According to sources, Saeed's joining the PML-N was a big dent for the PPP as three other influential party members had already left and joined the opposition party. They said though Chaudhrys had become much stronger against the Sharifs in Gujrat and other parts of central Punjab, the question about PPP voters' decision was still valid and there were possibilities of more twists in Gujrat politics.