“For the development of my constituency and my people, I have joined Muslim League-Noon again,” says Qadir

PTI-backed independent candidate Waseem Qadir (right) with PML-N leaders in Lahore, on February 11, 2024, in this still taken from a video. — PML-N
PTI-backed independent candidate Waseem Qadir (right) with PML-N leaders in Lahore, on February 11, 2024, in this still taken from a video. — PML-N
  • Qadir joins PML-N once again for “development” of people.
  • He announces this after meeting top PML-N leader Maryam.
  • “I have returned to my home,” ex-PTI leader Qadir says.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-backed independent candidate Waseem Qadir, who had won the February 8 elections from the National Assembly’s NA-121 constituency in Lahore, has announced joining the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

In a video statement released by the Nawaz Sharif-led party, Qadir could be seen with PML-N leaders — including Chief Organiser Maryam Nawaz — and saying that he’s “back home”.

The loss of the Lahore seat, which Qadir won by defeating PML-N’s Sheikh Rohail Asgher by a margin of more than 8,000 votes, is a major setback for the PTI as the PML-N and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) have already said that they’ll be seeking the support of independent candidates for coming into power.

“I am Waseem Qadir. I was PTI’s Lahore secretary-general. I have returned to my home,” the ex-PTI leader said, who is the first elected member to desert the party post-elections.

“For the development of my constituency and my people, I have joined Muslim League-Noon again,” Qadir said.

The party of former prime minister Nawaz is second with 79 seats after Thursday’s vote, lacking a clear majority but it is the largest single party in parliament as Imran Khan-backed independents ran as individuals.

Following the election results, both PTI and PML-N declared victory, adding to the uncertainty as the country faces numerous urgent challenges, including negotiating a new International Monetary Fund programme to keep a struggling economy afloat.

A prime ministerial candidate has to show a simple majority of 169 seats in the National Assembly when the house is called in the coming days. This will be determined by coalition talks and whether Khan-backed candidates are able to join a smaller party in parliament to form a single bloc to gain reserve seats.



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