Humayun Akhtar Khan becomes latest ex-PTI to join IPP, appointed SVP

Former federal minister Humayun Akhtar Khan on Saturday joined the Istehkam-i-Pakistan Party (IPP) — the new abode for departing PTI leaders — and was appointed as the party’s senior vice president (SVP).

The former PTI federal minister had left the party in June over the violent May 9 events that took place after the arrest of PTI chief Imran Khan. Akhtar began his politics with the PML-N and was a federal minister during the Musharraf rule before joining the PML-N again. He did file papers for NA-131 for the 2018 general election but withdrew in favour of Imran Khan and joined the PTI.

The IPP was founded by former PTI leader Jahangir Khan Tareen who was once a close aide of Imran. Other PTI defectors who had joined IPP earlier this year were Aleem Khan, Imran Ismail, Ali Zaidi, Fayyazul Hasan Chohan, Amir Mehmood Kayani and Firdous Ashiq Awan.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad alongside Tareen and Aleem today, Akhtar said he will decide from which constituency to contest the forthcoming general elections after consultation with IPP leaders.

“I am confident that the IPP can improve the conditions of the country and the poor,” Akhtar said, adding that the IPP wanted to solve “real issues” in the country, such as unemployment.

He remarked that IPP leaders knew the challenges being faced by the country and also the solutions to them.

He said the IPP leadership had an important role in the PTI’s creation and winning the 2018 elections when the country’s youth were looking towards PTI.

Highlighting that there was a lot of stress over many young people belonging to the PTI being present in jail, Akhtar requested the courts to release those innocent and allow them to go back home.

On the occasion, Tareen said Akhtar was nominated as and was now a party SVP. He highlighted that the IPP’s mission was to steer the country toward economic development.

“This development and confidence in the economy is only possible when people gather together and work towards it,” Tareen said.

He said that the popularity of the PTI after the May 9 events had plummeted and the PTI’s position was not the same as before.

Welcoming the former PTI leader to the party, Aleem stated that Akhtar would prove to be a great source of strength for IPP and also the country.

He also clarified that the IPP had no coalition agreement with the PML-N so far but agreements were ongoing between both their negotiating teams.

“We will not sacrifice others’ necks for our seats,” Aleem said. “We don’t practice this type of politics.”

The number of desertions from the PTI to the IPP has ramped up in the lead-up to the elections. On November 21, over 30 disgruntled PTI union committee chairmen from Karachi announced that they would ‘support’ the IPP. On Nov 19, Ali Nawaz Awan had made a public appearance and joined the IPP.

Farrukh Habib, Andleeb Abbas, Sadia Sohail and Sumaira Bokhari also joined the IPP in October.

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