LAHORE – The merger of the Pakistan Democratic Party into the Pakistan Tehrike Insaaf is significant from the point of view that it has marked the demise of a party which carried the name of a leader of tall political stature, Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan.

Given the situation that the PDP had gradually gone into a low political profile after the demise of the Nawabzada in September 2003, its getting into the PTI folds does not feel astonishing. However the question does strike the mind why the relatively young and energetic PDP leadership failed after that to sustain and maintain the party which the Nawazbaza did for decades despite old age and with limited support and constituency.

The seed of the merger had been sown when Central Vice President Rana Nazarur Rahman joined Imran Khan’s party following which the PDP, under the Presidentship of Nawabzada Manzoor Ahmad Khan, remained in touch with the PTI and ended up at the merger, finding it as the best option to politically stay alive. The merger will certainly yield political dividend for the PTI in Southern Punjab, particularly Muzaffargarh, after the party has already won to its side the stalwarts like Javed Hashmi and Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

The PDP merger also appears to have brought to and the pioneership role which this party under the leadership of Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan has been playing towards forming anti-government alliance since the time of General Ayub Khan. Despite certain reservations attached with the role of Nawabzada before the partition, his personality and political role in the country had always come first of his party. That was why he remained a focus of attention of every ruler, whether military or civil, and mainstream politicians, in the country, and there is hardly anyone among them who did not went to him personally for guidance.

Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan had always acted to bring together and converged on one point, the parties which differed on the basis of ideologies, region, language, and background. Nawabzada was the person who never budged to the dictatorial forces and before his demise on September 27, 2003, he was spearheading the Alliance for Restoration of Democracy against Pervez Musharraf.