Pakistan’s ex-foreign minister joins Imran’s party

November 28th, 2011 - 7:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Nawaz Sharif Islamabad, Nov 28 (IANS) Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Pakistan’s former foreign minister who was dropped from the cabinet and refused to take another portfolio, has joined cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

Qureshi recently relinquished membership of the ruling PPP.

Dropped as cabinet minister in a reshuffle in February, Qureshi made the announcement Sunday at a huge public rally in Ghotki in Sindh province. The rally was also attended by PTI chairman Imran Khan.

“I announce I am joining a movement, which is struggling to win justice for people,” the Daily Times quoted Qureshi as saying about his new party.

The former minister was offered another portfolio in the February reshuffle but he refused.

The decision did not come as a surprise, as Imran had already disclosed Qureshi’s intension weeks ago.

Earlier this month, Qureshi parted ways from the PPP and also gave up his membership in the National Assembly or lower house of parliament.

The functioning of the present National Assembly did not reflect people’s aspirations, Geo News quoted Qureshi as saying at the rally.

He said the winds of change in the political system have started blowing against the government.

Qureshi said the country’s youth looked towards Imran Khan because they were in desperate need of a leader.

Meanwhile, PTI vice-president Rauf Hassan rejected a perception that Qureshi would ultimately take over the party.

He said Qureshi had an established political career and was a known face, but it was the party that mattered in the end.

“The PTI has a certain agenda that is for change in the country and the party will be more than happy if Qureshi plays a key role in achieving this goal,” Hassan was quoted as saying by the Dawn.

Qureshi had met Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif a few days ago.

PML-N sources said Qureshi asked for half a dozen tickets for provincial and national assembly constituencies of his choice in addition to the portfolio of foreign minister for himself.

Knowing PML-N’s standing in national politics, Qureshi could not have put forward such demands and nor was it possible for the party leadership to offer him something big in advance, PML-N spokesman Mushahidullah Khan was quoted as saying by the Dawn.

After meeting Sharif, Qureshi said the PPP government had lost moral authority, both in the country and abroad.

“No one takes this government seriously any more. It is time for the opposition to resign from the assemblies, which have lost their meaning and utility, and go to the people,” he said.

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