ABBOTTABAD: Like other parts of the country, a number of political stalwarts in Hazara division especially those of the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) are preparing to join the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
The sources disclosed that the local leadership of the PML-Q had been in contact with the top leadership of the PTI as most of them were willing to join hands with Imran Khan but were seeking assurance that they would be given party tickets in the next general election. Some politicians belonging to different political parties have already joined the PTI while others are waiting for an opportune time to jump onto the bandwagon of the party.
Former provincial minister Yusuf Ayub Khan, who is the grandson of late Field Marshal Mohammad Ayub Khan, joined the PTI at a public meeting in Khanpur. Raja Amir Zaman, former nazim of Haripur and the son of former chief minister Raja Sikandar Zaman, has also joined the PTI. Faisal Zaman, a former MPA from Ghazi, Haripur, too joined the PTI along with his companions.
In Abbottabad, former deputy speaker of the National Assembly Sardar Mohammad Yaqoob and a number of PML-Q activists have also decided to join the PTI.
However, Imran Khan is reportedly unwilling to accept those who left his party in the past. Among them were stated to be the PML-Q Provincial Secretary General Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani, who was once the office-bearer of the PTI, and Shahzada Gustasap, a former provincial minister from Mansehra who too was part of the PTI. Mushtaq Ghani could not be reached for comments.
Veteran politician Air Marshal (R) Asghar Khan is another big name, who has announced support for the PTI and stepped down as chief of his Tehreek-e-Istiqlal, which in any case had been reduced to a dysfunctional party. His son, Ali Asghar Khan, who contested the last polls but lost from Abbottabad, is also keen to re-enter politics from the PTI platform.
In Abbottabad, Sardar Sher Bahadur has been notified as the PTI district organizer, Syed Hassan Raza Gilani as organiser for PF-44 constituency, Mubeen Abbasi organizer for PF-45, Syed Iltija Hussain Shah for PF-46 and Sajid Ali Khan Abbasi as organizer for PF-48 Abbottabad. All of the organisers are young and belong to reputed families.
Hassan Gilani, an educated young business tycoon belonging to the Syed family of Sheikhul Bandi village, is engaged in organising party meetings. Dr Azhar Jadoon, a leader of the Tehreek-e-Hazara province, lauded the PTI’s stance on the creation of Hazara province and said it was a positive change in the PTI thinking. He said his party was considering forming alliance with the PTI. Imran Khan has reportedly announced that he would create Hazara province if he came into power. Earlier, the PTI local leadership was claiming that formation of new provinces was not mentioned in the party’s manifesto.