- South Punjab Front likely to announce merger with PTI after meeting Imran Khan on Wednesday
LAHORE: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is all set to welcome parliamentarians from south Punjab who had parted ways with the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) last month, it was learnt on Tuesday.
Sources in the PTI told Pakistan Today that lawmakers, including MNAs and MPAs of the PML-N, who had recently formed the Junoobi Punjab Sooba Mahaz (South Punjab Front), will make a formal announcement about joining the PTI in a joint press conference.
PTI Spokesman Fawad Chaudhry confirmed the development, saying the details of the merger will be given out in Islamabad on Wednesday.
A spokesman of the Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar-led south Punjab alliance, however, said that deliberations between the two sides are underway.
“We will be meeting Imran Khan in Islamabad on Wednesday. Our objective is to persuade the PTI chief to put the establishment of south Punjab province on his party’s agenda for first 100 days; otherwise, there is no use of this alliance,” said a source privy to the development.
Last month, in a major blow to the ruling PML-N, eight legislators had parted ways with the ruling party. They had also announced launching a mass movement, Junoobi Punjab Sooba Mahaaz, for the sole purpose of making south Punjab a separate province.
“Making south Punjab a separate province is a one-point agenda,” MNA Khusro Bakhtiar had said along with the other disgruntled parliamentarians during a news conference.
Bakhtiar had said: “The poverty rate in South Punjab is over 51 per cent. I admire development in the provincial capital but I cannot forget the pain and sufferings of South Punjab where my ancestors are buried.”