In a blow to the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in the run-up to general elections, the former president of the PPP Balochistan chapter, Nawab Lashkari Raisani, along with other 21 leaders from the province, announced Tuesday their decision to join the main opposition party, the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N).

A 22-member delegation of leaders from Balochistan met with PML-N chief Mian Nawaz Sharif in Raiwind and announced their decision to join the party. The meeting was also attended by Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif.

The 22 member delegation included Lashkari Raisani, Humayun Kurd, Ismail Gujar, Tahir Mehmood, Ayub Khoso, and others.

The younger brother of former Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani, Lashkari Raisani was appointed as president of the PPP Balochistan chapter by former party chairperson Benazir Bhutto in 2003.

However, in April 2012, he resigned from his Senate seat and ended his nine-year-long association with the PPP over, what he called, failure of the federal and provincial governments to improve security situation in the restive province.

Speaking at a joint press conference with the PML-N on Tuesday, Lashkari Raisani said that the PPP had deviated from the ideology with which Benazir Bhutto led the party. He said the condition in Balochistan had worsened over the years.

“The entire country, including Balochistan province, is facing a tough crisis,” said Raisani. “I have decided to join the PML-N to guide the country out of this crisis.”

Raisani also expressed his full confidence in the leadership of Nawaz Sharif. – Dawn.com