Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Naz Baloch on Sunday announced her joining of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), saying that the focus of Imran Khan-led party is centred on Punjab and not Sindh, where she is from.
Baloch, a resident of Karachi and the daughter of PPP leader Abdullah Baloch, made the announcement at a press conference here alongside Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and PPP leader Faryal Talpur. “As a daughter and representative of Sindh, I feel that the PTI’s focus is centred on Punjab. They are focused on the centre,” she asserted.
“I performed my responsibilities in PTI under the leadership of Imran Khan. This is no secret,” she told a questioner. “I don’t wish to defame a party with whom I have had a good run,” she said. “But the PTI, which championed the youth and called for change, has itself changed. This is not the dawn we wished to see.”
“When Imran Khan comes to Karachi for his five or six-hour-long visits, he is kept away from the party workers. This is done by the Karachi party leadership, and I raised my voice about it prominently while I was with PTI,” she added. “I have always called his [Imran’s] attention towards giving more time to Sindh especially Karachi,” she said.
She said that the workers were getting angry and leaving the party to join others. She said that the ideological worker was disappointed because today the people standing to Imran Khan’s left and right were neither the youth nor do any of them speak up for Sindh.
In addition to the PTI being unable to deliver on its promise of representing the youth, she said that the party was also sidelining its female members. “I have made complaints about what I feel is male chauvinism in the party; only men are present when it is time to make decisions. Women do not have the same access or representation in the decision-making committee,” she said.
“Faryal Talpur has given the women respect, brought them into the decision-making process and kept them in the loop.” She requested Imran Khan to listen to the complaints of disgruntled workers so that what was left of the party in Sindh remains intact.
She said that PTI’s organisational structure in Karachi and Sindh has been damaged, as it appears that the PTI was playing musical chairs with only four people who have been consistently appointed president of Karachi and Sindh on a rotation basis. She said that her journey with the PPP aims to take forward the ideology of Benazir Bhutto.
“Bilawal Bhutto is truly representing the youth. He has made big sacrifices after his mother’s death. And if he has returned to represent the people, then we should support him in his campaign and his struggle for Pakistan, and stand by him,” she said. “Everything I have done has been for Pakistan,” she told a questioner.
She said that she would continue doing the same under the leadership of the PPP. “It would not be wrong to say that I feel as if I have come home again,” she said of her return to the PPP. Baloch contested the 2013 general election from the NA-240 constituency as a PTI candidate.
Although her father is a high-ranking PPP member, she turned down the option of being a member of the family party to join the PTI – a move which surprised her father.