LAHORE - Breaking 17-year-old affiliation with Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed yesterday joined the PML-Nawaz.

His second term as PML-Q senator is ending on March 11 and he is very likely to contest March 3 election of the upper house on a PML-N ticket.

The defecting senator has reportedly sent his resignation to PML-Q President Ch Shujaat Hussain.

Mushahid met Nawaz Sharif and top PML-N cadre at Jattiumra where he announced his joining the PML-N to become part of ousted prime minister’s "struggle to restore the sanctity of vote and supremacy of democracy".

Railways Minister Saad Rafique, Senator Pervaiz Rasheed and Maryam Nawaz were also present on the occasion.

Party sources said Nawaz had invited Mushahid to "return home" and join the PML-N — an invitation that the latter gladly accepted.

During the meeting, he expressed commitment to be a part of the struggle launched by PML-N chief for "supremacy of the Constitution" after his disqualification by the Supreme Court in Panama leaks case. The senator also praised Nawaz Sharif's “successes” in bringing stability to the country, and in development and defence.

Mushahid also held a separate meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif yesterday and exchanged views on different matters of political and mutual interest.

The chief minister welcomed him in the PML-N and said that confidence of Mushahid in the PML-N leadership proves this party was the true representative of the masses that won their heart through service and development. He hoped that PML-N would win the next general elections with thumping majority.

Mushahid had an illustrious career as a journalist before he entered the political arena as a member of Pakistan Muslim League. He was appointed information minister by Nawaz Sharif in his 1997 cabinet.

In 1999, following the coup by former general- president Pervez Musharraf, Mushahid's house was stormed by soldiers the very same day and he was placed under house arrest and then put behind the bars.

He was released in 2000 following which he joined the PML-Q – a faction led by Chaudhrys of Gujrat that joined hands with Musharaf after they were left in the lurch by Nawaz, who went in exile along with his family by striking a secret deal with the military dictator to save their skin.

The PML-Q, also called the King’s party, later formed government and it included many prominent faces of the Nawaz-led Muslim League.

Mushahid contested the 2003 Senate election on PML-Q ticket and won. He also become a staunch supporter of Musharraf and even agreed with the latter’s decision to not shed his uniform.

He successfully contested election for the upper house again in 2012 and is the current chairman of the Senate's Defence Committee. He has earlier served as chairman of the standing committees on Foreign Affairs, Kashmir and Northern Areas.

SAAD WELCOMES MUSHAHID INTO PML-N

APP adds: Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique Sunday welcomed Mushahid Hussain in the PML-N and said his joining would help strengthen the party's struggle for democracy.

The minister, in a statement here, said Mushahid was an intellectual and prudent politician, who had joined the PML-N unconditionally. He said PML-N President Nawaz Sharif had left for Peshawar after making a big "sixer" in Lahore and another "sixer" would be made there in Peshawar.

Commenting on the statement of Paksitan People's Party (PPP) leader Qamar Zaman Kaira, the minister questioned as to whether the PPP had accepted its founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's conviction by the courts on the charges of murder. The PML-N had never endorsed that decision despite severe differences with the PPP so its leaders should also think before criticising the PML-N leadership, he added.