Pak ex-FM Qureshi quits PPP, will join Imran Khan's party

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Islamabad, Nov 15: Former Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday resigned from both Parliament and the ruling Pakistan People's Party and launched a scathing attack on President Asif Ali Zardari, saying he had "sold" out his values to cling to power.

Qureshi, who has been estranged from the PPP since he was not reallocated the foreign affairs portfolio during a cabinet reshuffle in Feb, sought to blame Zardari for his decision to leave the party. He accused Zardari, who is also the head of the PPP, of abandoning values and politics espoused by slain former party chief and premier Benazir Bhutto.

"Zardari has moved away from (Bhutto's) vision. His love for the chair is so great and he is so determined to cling to his position that he is ready to sacrifice everything values, the party and its workers," Qureshi told reporters. Zardari, he claimed, had changed Bhutto's "politics of resistance" into "politics of capitulation".

He said, "Benazir Bhutto was a symbol of resistance against dictatorships and unconstitutional rule and President Zardari is an epitome of capitulation to internal and external pressures". Accusing Zardari of burying Bhutto's "vision and politics along with her", Qureshi said, "This is not Benazir Bhutto's PPP, it is the Zardari league...I want to say that I will not remain associated with the Zardari league. "I am severing links with it. I announce that I am leaving the Zardari league". 

Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan On Monday said former Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi would join his Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf party later this month. Khan made the announcement on a television talk show hours after Qureshi told a news conference that he had resigned as a member of both parliament and the ruling Pakistan People's Party.

He said Qureshi would join the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf during a rally to be held at Ghotki in Sindh province on November 27. Qureshi, who is also a spiritual leader and has many followers in the Ghotki area, had been estranged from the PPP since he was not reallocated the foreign affairs portfolio during a cabinet reshuffle in Feb.

He sought to blame President Asif Ali Zardari for his decision to leave the PPP. His decision was not unexpected as Pakistan's political circles were abuzz with reports that he intended to sever his ties with the PPP as he had been completely sidelined within the party after criticising the policies of the government and Zardari.

PTI

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