KARACHI - In a bid to further consolidate its position in its stronghold constituencies from Malir district, the Pakistan People’s Party Sunday won another key leader from the PML-N Haji Chanzeb, who was also a member of PML-N central general council and Joint Secretary of PML-N Sindh.

Chanzeb announced formal joining of the party on Sunday in a press conference at PPP Media Cell along with several other party activists. The PML-N had lost some of its key figures from the city in last couple of months including the party’s MNA Abdul Hakeem Baloch, MPA Humayun Khan and other local leaders.

The other key leaders who joined PPP included Vice President PML-N Ladies Wing Karachi Rubina Shaheen, former Superintendent of Police Shahnawaz and several other union council members and top party leaders of the Malir district.   

Speaking on the occasion, Haji Chanzeb credited the former PML-N MNA Abdul Hakeem Baloch for playing his role in bringing him towards PPP.

“Only Nawaz Sharif is to be blamed for my switching of loyalty towards PPP as he has done nothing for masses as well as for the party activists in the province,” he said adding that it was Abdul Hakeem Baloch and PPP MPAs who served the masses in his constituency and therefore they deserve the votes of masses from the area.

Chanzeb rejected the notion that he was switching loyalty over infighting within party on distribution of tickets and said that he was asked by the party stalwarts in Lahore to file nomination papers from the constituency of his choice.

“I refuse their offer because when the leader does not live in our heart then why should I raise his flag,” the former PML-N leader said adding that he made his mind to switch party since the time of Shehbaz Sharif’s election as PML-N president and did not participate in the general council meeting.

He claimed that even PML-N Sindh president Shah Muhammad Shah three days back met him and asked to refrain from joining PPP for the sake of ill Kulsoom Nawaz.

“I told him that Kulsoom Nawaz was the only PML-N leader whom he respected the most and pray for her health and long life but could not betray from the promise given to PPP,” he said. 

He vowed to carry out all out efforts to ensure clean sweep victory of PPP from Malir constituencies.

PPP Karachi President Saeed Ghani said that Haji Chanzeb and others inclusion in PPP would further strengthen them in Malir constituencies in particular and Karachi in general.

“These joining are part of phase 1 and would be followed by more joining and in large numbers,” he said.

The PPP leader during the presser claimed that some hidden hands are working behind the scenes to force PPP loyalists to join other parties.

“I just wanted to warn those institutions and people in personal capacities to refrain from such activities and allow the masses to decide their leadership on their own,” he said.

Ghani said that such acts have been tried and tested in past but those who had been part of these process had learnt nothing from that and still pressurizing PPP activists to switch their loyalties.

Ghani further blamed the Sindh governor house for working as election cell of PML-N and MQM-Pakistan and said that both the organisations had joined hands and are using the influence of the governor house to run their election campaigns.

“The election commission should take strict notice of such acts as it would raise serious doubts over the claims of transparent, free and fair elections,” he said.

Responding to alliance of MQM-P factions, the PPP Karachi President said that he knew the ending of this drama and had prepared to contest against all of their factions with full strength,” he said adding that they had fielded serious and known candidates from all constituencies of the city and would give surprising results even from the constituencies where the party was not voted in past.   

PPP Sindh General Secretary Waqar Mehdi welcomed those who joined PPP and said that he and Haji Chanzeb jointly carried out the struggle for democracy under MRD Movement.

“Even the former SP Shahnawaz and I had worked against the dictatorship of Ayub Khan,” he said.