LAHORE – Shah Mehmood Qureshi finally came out of the shadows and beat the trumpet of yet another major divide in the PTI by throwing an open challenge to his arch rival Jahangir Tareen by announcing support to Shafqat Mehmood in intra-party polls for Punjab president slot against Tareen-backed Chaudhry Sarwar.
“Will I have to ask for party tickets to Jahangir Tareen and Chaudhry Sarwar? What are their services for the party? I had been with the party chairman for the whole 126 days during the Azadi sit-in at D-Chowk,” he said while addressing an intra-party polls convention at Insaf Markaz, the Hamid Khan and Waleed Iqbal camp. “It will be better to leave the party if the day comes to ask Tareen and Sarwar for party tickets,” Mr Qureshi conveyed to party chairman in a strong warning tone.
“I will play my part in awarding tickets if I will be given due respect in party’s parliamentary board. I opposed groupings in the party. I will give tickets to the ideological workers who served the party if I am given the opportunity,” he said.
Former Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar at a party meeting said that he acknowledges Qureshi as the second major leader of the party after Imran Khan as he (Qureshi) was the second-time vice chairman of the party.
Jahangir Tareen however expressed regret over the statement of Qureshi.
Imran Khan’s party had witnessed first major fissure when Javed Hashmi, who also belonged to Qursehi’s hometown Multan, rebelled against the party chief when he developed differences with him over Azadi sit-in in 2014 and finally parted ways with Mr Khan.
The second major setback for PTI came when Justice (r) Wajihuddin Ahmed’s insisted at expelling Pervaiz Khattak, Jahangir Tareen, Aleem Khan, Azam Swati and Nadir Akmal Leghari from the party in the result of report of the commission he headed to probe into rigging practices by party leaders during first intra-party polls in 2013.