‘Everyone Knew Match Was Fixed’: Ex-Opposition Leader Raja Riaz Jumps Ship to PML-N – News18

Last Updated: September 17, 2023, 09:14 IST

Former PTI leader Raja Riaz said he would play his role in “improving and enhancing PML-N, and welcoming Nawaz Sharif to Pakistan upon his return.

Former PTI leader Raja Riaz joins PML-N after serving as opposition leader, expressing confidence in Nawaz Sharif’s leadership

Former PTI leader Raja Riaz has officially joined the PML a month after relinquishing the role of opposition leader in the National Assembly in August. Riaz joined the party after meeting PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif and party president Shehbaz Sharif in London, the Dawn newspaper reported.

The Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) said Riaz expressed his “complete confidence” in the three-time prime minister Nawaz’s leadership, during their meeting. The public announcement of his membership was made by former PM Shehbaz in a presser in London. He expressed hope Riaz’s inclusion would lend “great strength” to the party.

The newly inducted leader, who is a former member of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), thanked the Sharif brothers for reposing their trust in him. He said he would play his role in “improving and enhancing the party and welcoming Nawaz to Pakistan upon his return”.

Riaz was appointed the opposition leader in the National Assembly in May last year after the ouster of the Imran Khan government. After the government collapsed, Riaz refrained from joining any other party and became the opposition leader till the assembly completed its constitutional tenure. However, reports suggested that his tenure as opposition leader did not give tough time to the government.

He was one of the most prominent PTI dissidents and was expelled by PTI in August this year. Before joining PML-N, Riaz led the party exodus last year. Moreover, he had publicly acknowledged that he wished to contest the next elections on a PML-N ticket.

Taking shots at Riaz, his former PTI colleague Fawad Chaudhry quipped that Riaz had rendered “countless services” for the Shehbaz Sharif government in his role as the opposition leader and his membership was only a “token of gratitude”.

PTI leader Taimur Jhagra was more forthright in his criticism, saying that “the match was fixed.”

“Everyone knew the match was fixed. But think of how shameless you have to be to shamelessly announced you fixed the match,” he said in a social media post on X, formerly know as Twitter.

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