Differences in Imran’s party to boycott polls

Mahmood Qureshi has developed serious differences with party chief Imran Khan over the unilateral decision to boycott recent byelections.

Islamabad: Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf
vice-chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi has reportedly developed
serious differences with party chief Imran Khan over the
latter`s unilateral decision to boycott recent bye-elections
to the national and provincial assemblies.

The former foreign minister`s differences with Khan appear
to be linked to his inability to contest bye-polls to a
parliamentary seat in his hometown of Multan.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani`s son bagged the seat,
securing more votes than Qureshi had polled in the last
general election.

Qureshi fears future elections will be an "uphill task"
for him, The Express Tribune quoted its sources as saying.

Sources told that former foreign minister Qureshi and
several other Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf leaders had expressed
their reservations over Khan`s decision to boycott last
month`s bye-polls.

Khan and Qureshi exchanged "harsh words" over what Qureshi
described as a "unilateral decision" made without consulting
other party leaders, the Tribune quoted sources close to the
two leaders as saying.

Some Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf leaders said Qureshi was
angry at Khan for letting Gilani`s son win the seat without a

They said the relationship between the two leaders was so
tense that Qureshi was contemplating leaving the party and
contesting the upcoming general election as an independent

A member of Qureshi`s family, who did not want to be
named, said the former minister sometimes regretted his
decision to join the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf instead of the

Party officials said the former minister had been trying
to convince Khan not to boycott the polls.

"You need to be in the system to change it," Qureshi was
quoted by sources as having told Khan.

However, the sources said Khan had stuck to his decision
to boycott the elections.


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