Home Global Village Nadeem Afzal Chan’s flight to PTI confirms changing political scenario in Punjab

Nadeem Afzal Chan’s flight to PTI confirms changing political scenario in Punjab

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Nadeem Afzal Chan, the former secretary general of the Pakistan Peoples Party’s Punjab chapter, finally left his party to join Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, in what appears to be a warning for his parent party, before the upcoming general elections.

Though many of the PPP’s big guns in Punjab had defected to other parties in recent past, Chan’s inclusion in PTI – which was well expected after his sibling joined the party in October last year – speaks volumes about the deteriorating popularity of Pakistan People’s Party in Punjab, that was once considered its bastion.

Before Chan, Imtiaz Safdar Warraich, Raja Riaz, Nazar Muhammad Gondal, Firdous Ashiq Awan and other bigwigs had left Asif Ali Zardari-led Pakistan People’s Party, however, the latest defection confirms that the senior politicians, who are well versed in the mechanics of electoral tussle, see a bleak future of the party and have started looking for other options.

The results of upcoming elections would perhaps be shocking for Pakistan People’s Party and pleasantly surprising for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, a precursor of which is Nadeem Afzal Chan’s inclusion. 

Before the 2013 elections, three of the political players contested for Punjab i.e Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Pakistan People’s Party, however, even months before the upcoming elections, it visibly seems that only two players would be potentially taking part in the contest, with Pakistan Peoples

Read more: PPP and PTI furious over PML-N’s controversial delimitation recommendations

Party, Virtually being Wiped Off

For just to get an idea of how PPP’s fan base dwindled in Punjab over the years, the results of recent bye-elections in NA-120 give an overview where Faisal Mir, the candidate of PPPP, managed to bag merely 1,414 votes, even lagging behind the first time contestant, Sheikh Azhar Hussain of Tehreek Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah who had secured 7,130 votes.

Nadeem Afzal Chan’s switch to PTI could encourage more former legislators and senior leaders of Pakistan People’s Party, who are politically active around the Grand Trunk road of Punjab. Because the Punjab province has as much as 148 seats in the National Assembly, a sizeable victory in the province would pave way for Imran Khan to step into the PM House, for which he is actively inviting electable from other parties.

Besides Chan, Imran Khan, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman, has also invited his class fellow and Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz maverick Chaudhry Nisar to join his party. Although Chaudhry Nisar has been publicly decrying the narrative of his arty after the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif as Prime Minister, he is still a part of Shehbaz Sharif-led Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz.

Nadeem Afzal Chan, the former secretary general of the Pakistan Peoples Party’s Punjab chapter, finally left his party to join Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, in what appears to be a warning for his parent party, before the upcoming general elections.

What has bolstered Nisar’s position in the party, after he was visibly sidelined by Nawaz Sharif, is Shehbaz Sharif’s elevation to the president, because the younger Sharif and Chaudhry Nisar are in unison over multiple issues especially regarding the handling of affairs related to establishment and judiciary.

The former security czar has also announced that no one was asking for party ticket for the upcoming elections, in a visible shut up call to Maryam Nawaz,  Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz’ de-factor leader, however, Shehbaz Sharif has been actively trying to cajole him as the ‘Pindiite’ maintains cordial relationships with the establishment.

Read more: NAB investigates PML-N’s KPK President over corruption

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has also intensified its membership campaign in Pakistan People’s Party-led Sindh, however, its focus remains at the heart of the country i.e. Punjab. In the last elections, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf managed to garner only 30 seats in the Punjab assembly, as compared to a landslide victory of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz with 310 seats, however, the situation has tilted in the favor of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, especially after the ouster of three-term Prime Minister.

The recently concluded Senate elections also confirm that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has learned the art of political maneuvering and siding with the enemy of the enemy (Pakistan People’s Party) in order to inflict damage on ruling Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz.

Chaudhry Nisar to join his party. Although Chaudhry Nisar has been publicly decrying the narrative of his arty after the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif as Prime Minister, he is still a part of Shehbaz Sharif-led Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz.

The prospects of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s sizeable victory in the upcoming elections, at least to the extent of Punjab, seem visible considering the accountability court proceedings against Nawaz Sharif. Up till now, Wajid Zia, the head of six-member Joint Investigation Team, has given devastating blows to the embattled Sharif family and with National Accountability Bureau’s announcement to present new witness in the case, the chances of Sharif family, defending their position seem bleak.

Read more: Rivalry between PML-N and PTI

The probable sentence to Nawaz Sharif, in days to come, would give an impetus to the defections in the crumbling Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz as well. So the results of upcoming elections would perhaps be shocking for Pakistan People’s Party and pleasantly surprising for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, a precursor of which is Nadeem Afzal Chan’s inclusion.


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