LAHORE – PTI is expecting entry of some political heavyweights from Punjab districts of Bhakkar, Mianwali and Khushab into its ranks, The Nation has learnt.

PTI insiders told this correspondent on Friday that at least one sitting MNA of PPP and one MPA of PML-N could soon give their nod to join Imran, while a sitting MNA of PML-Q has already given green signal to the party chief for joining him this month.

They revealed that talks were on with Bhakkar politician Dr Muhammad Afzal Dhandla, a close relative of PML-N district president Zafar Ullah Khan Dhandla. Former provincial sports minister Naeem Ullah Khan Shahani was also in constant contact and both these political allies in that district are most likely to join Imran.

They added that Dr Afzal Dhandla would bring PML-N leader, Zafar Ullah Dhandla along with him when the latter joins the PTI. Naeem Ullah Shahani is the son of Nawab Abdullah Khan Shahani, who had once been the biggest landlord of the district and an active political and social figure. He is affiliated with both factions of the League, PML-N and PML-Q.

In Mianwali, the insiders said, Malik Amad Khan, a grandson of Nawab of Kalabagh and a sitting MNA of PPP from NA-71 who is also state minister for foreign affairs, is another heavyweight from the powerful Awan tribe to join hands with Imran. Another surprise from Mianwali would be the switch over of sitting PML-N MPA from PP-43, Abdul Hafeez Khan, who is believed to be a close associate of former PML-N leader Inam Ullah Khan Niazi. Hafeez is in contact with the PTI through Inam Ullah.

A granddaughter of the Nawab of Kalabagh, Ayla Malik has already joined PTI. Ayla is a former MNA, elected on reserve seat quota of PML-Q. The elder sister of Ayla, Sumera Malik, who is a sitting MNA of PML-Q from NA-69, Khushab, has given her nod to join the PTI and she would make a formal announcement in a meeting with Imran after the PTI’s CEC moot to be held on Jan 14 in Islamabad.

Local leaders say the situation would become quite difficult for Imran with joining of Sumera, as her rival Malik Umer Aslam Awan has already joined the PTI. PTI insiders maintained that Sumera is expected to be given top slot of women wing of the party. Ghulam Muhammad Tiwana, former district nazim Khushab would be another politician likely to join the PTI soon. Inam Ullah Niazi, who resigned from PML-N recently and was in contact with the PTI, would formally join Imran Khan on January 11.