LAHORE -  Allies of the PTI have geared up efforts to install Imran Khan as the new opposition leader in the National Assembly.

Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed, Awami Muslim League (AML) chief, Syed Munawar Hasan, Jamaat-i-Islami ameer, Aftab Sherpao, Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) chairman and Chaudhrys of Gujrat offered their support to the PTI chairman.

Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed talking to TheNation on Thursday said, “Although I have little hope of getting MQM support for Imran Khan, I will make an effort during my visit to Karachi to convince the MQM leadership that joining the PPP on opposition benches will further damage the image of Altaf Hussain’s followers.

“The war of words between the PTI and MQM top leadership has made it near to impossible for a rapprochement between the two parties, while the killing of PTI leader Zuhra Shahid also a strong factor to hinder efforts for peace between the PTI and MQM.”  He said: “Imran Khan can become opposition leader without any problem if the MQM doesn’t support the PPP, as the PTI is ahead of the PPP in number game by 33 members at its side including his ally parties, while the PPP has 30 members in the National Assembly.”

“In the current political scenario, the PPP will not leave the MQM out of the power game in Sindh, however there are no fixed positions in politics and there are chances that MQM may take a different position in the National Assembly.”

Chaudhrys of Gujrat, who are leading the marginalised PML-Q, in a recent meeting with the PTI chairman, have offered their support to make Imran Khan the opposition leader.  Keeping in view the political compulsions of Punjab, supporting the PTI for the slot of the opposition leader would be favourable for them.  The PTI support in the National Assembly will climbs to 35 if the Chaudhrys stick to their offer.

Meanwhile, sources in the PML-Q said that it was necessary that the party would not support the PPP in parliament.

They added that the PML-Q also suffered serious damages in the 2013 general elections.

 They quoted the remaining loyalists of Chaudhrys as saying that supporting the PTI would be politically beneficial for the party whether Imran succeeds to become the new opposition leader or not.