LAHORE – Though, it is not a new trend in our country’s political history, but the last 12 months have witnessed a record number of defections from one party to another with PTI being the main beneficiary of this unprecedented reshuffle in the political realm.
Some smaller parties have merged themselves with bigger parties to enhance their prospects of winning the coming elections. The names of Sindh National Front and Pakistan Democratic Party can be cited here.
In certain cases, it was some grievance against party’s leadership which compelled politicians to leave their parent party, while political opportunism seems to be the main factor behind this trend in respect of majority of such cases.
The change of loyalties by such a large number of turncoats not only shows lack of commitment with one’s parent party and its manifesto, the trend is also reflective of low moral standards and opportunism in our society.
Political pundits have predicted more defections mostly from the PPP and PML-Q if power outages continue unabated.
While the PTI of Imran Khan is the major beneficiary of these large scale defections, the PPP and the PML-Q remain the main losers having greater number of turncoats in their folds. The PML-N has lost a few politicians compared to other parties in the recent wave of defections.
Makhdoom Javed Hashmi, Skinder Bosan and Tahir Rashid-all belonging to Multan, Inam Ullah Niazi from Mianwali and Raja Nadir Pervaiz from Faisalabad are a few politicians who have left the PML-N to join the PTI.
In Sindh, however, the PML-N has made some inroads into the PPP vote bank by making alliances with the nationalist parties. The recent merger of Sindh National Front led by Mumtaz Bhutto can be mentioned here. The PPP and the PML-Q, on the other hand, have a long list of their turncoats, though the latter has surpassed all others.
Shah Mehmood Qureshi from Multan, Sardar Asif Ahmad Ali from Kasur, Muhammad Afzal Sindhu from Bahawalnagar, Khalid Kharral and Mehr Khaliq Yar Lak from Sargodha, Zaheer Abbas Khokhar from Lahore, Noor Muhammad Bhaba from Vehari and Amjad Joya from Sahiwal are the prominent turncoats from the PPP. Former senator Envir Baig also left the PPP to join the PML-N a couple of months back.
Chaudhry Ameer Hussain, Akmal Cheema and Ajmal Cheema belong to Sialkot while Raja Tariq Kayani has left the party from Rawalpindi. Azam Swati is another big name among the turncoats who left JUI-F to join the PTI.
Majority of the political heavyweights who joined other parties belong to Multan, Bahawalpur, Kasur, Sargodha and Faisalabad divisions.
The prominent among PML-Q defectors include: Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri from Kasur, Sikander Hayat Bosan and Sardar Muhammad Tahir Rasheed from Multan, Ishaq Khaqwani from Vehari, Sardar Awais Leghari and Sardar Jamal Leghari from DG Khan, Jahangir Khan Tareen and Zafar Warraich from RY Khan, Hussain Jehanian Gardezi from Khanewal, Mazhar Qureshi, Asghar Kalyar, Malik Khudabuksh Awan, Ehsan-ul-Haq Piracha and Inam Piracha from Sargodha, Sardar Ghulam Abbas, Malik Faiz Taman and Col (r) Sultan Surkhuru Awan from Chakwal, Rai Hassan Nawaz from Sahiwal, Mian Muhammad Azhar, Sardar Kamil Umer, Sardar Aqil Umer, Abdul Aleem Khan, Farooq Amjad Mir from Lahore.