ISLAMABAD - As defections of stalwarts from PPP have apparently upset the party leadership, former federal minister Nazar Muhammad Gondal is also considering joining Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.

Nazar Muhamad Gondal, the other day, silently met with Imran Khan at Bani Gala along with former PPP MNA Noor Alam Khan who has already joined PTI.

However, PTI sources insisted the party chief was reluctant to take Gondal into the party fold because a close member of his family was facing corruption charges in EOBI (Employees’ Old-Age Benefits Institution) scam amounting to misappropriation of millions of rupees. They added that Khan was of the opinion that the announcement of Gondal’s joining could be used politically against the party. Zafar Gondal, the real brother of Nazar Gondal, is facing corruption charges in EOBI scam. He remained head of the institution during the last PPP regime. Nazar Gondal himself remained federal minister for food during the PPP regime.

According to official sources of PTI, Gondal and some other senior politicians of PPP are in contact with the party leadership through Secretary General Jehangir Khan Tareen. The party sources said Imran Khan had yet to take a final decision about some senior politicians from PPP whether they should be accepted or not.

On the other hand, Gondal, while talking to a TV channel, denied his meeting with Khan, but an official photograph of the party’s media cell showed him and Noor Alam at a meeting with Imran Khan.

Iftikhar Durrani, the head of PTI’s central media department, confirmed Gondal had met Imran Khan on Tuesday. “It is surprising that senior PPP politician has denied his meeting, but our official photographs confirm his presence at Bani Gala,” he said.

Gondal family is politically very strong in the area of Mandi Bahauddin district and has also good political links in Sargodha, a neighbouring district of Mandi Bahauddin. A close relative of Nazar Muhammad Gondal, Nadeem Afzal Chan won a National Assembly seat from Sargodha in the 2008 general elections and also remained acting chairman of Public Accounts Committee (PAC) for some time during the PPP government. It is widely believed that if Gondal joins PTI, Chan will follow the course.