In the aftermath of the 2024 elections, many independent candidates, having secured victories with the support of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), find themselves at the crossroads of political affiliations. Leading this wave of change is Waseem Qadir, who has made headlines by shifting his allegiance to PML-N post his victory in Lahore’s NA-121 constituency.
Waseem Qadir’s Political Journey
Early Beginnings and Business Ventures
Waseem Qadir, a name that has recently surged in search trends, is not new to the political scene. The son of Chaudhry Ghulam Qadir, Waseem hails from Lahore and has a background in business. His political career initiated in 2008 when he was elected to the Provincial Assembly of Punjab.
Transitioning from Business to Politics
After spending several years overseas, Waseem returned to Pakistan, motivated to join the political arena. His journey with PTI began in December 2018, following the party’s ascendancy to power under Imran Khan’s leadership.
A History with PML-N
Prior to his affiliation with PTI, Waseem was associated with Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N). His political contributions include serving as the deputy mayor of Ravi Town. Acknowledged by the Sharifs, he was awarded a ticket for PP-144, through which he secured a win and served as a lawmaker.
Facing Challenges within PML-N
The 2013 elections marked a turning point for Waseem when he was denied a ticket, leading to a fallout with the party’s leadership. A notable disagreement with PML-N leader Hamza Shahbaz over the issuance of tickets further strained his relations within the party.
Waseem Qadir’s Return to PML-N
Announcing his decision through social media, Waseem Qadir expressed his sentiment of returning “to where he belonged.” His transition was publicly acknowledged in a video where he was seen alongside prominent PML-N figures, Maryam Nawaz and Saif Khokhar, signaling his official switch from PTI to PML-N.
Waseem Qadir’s political voyage reflects the dynamic and often unpredictable nature of Pakistan’s political landscape. From a businessman to a lawmaker, and through his affiliations with both major political parties, his journey underscores the intricate balance of loyalty, ideology, and ambition that defines the realm of politics. As the first PTI-supported independent to jump ship, Waseem’s move opens up discussions on the shifting allegiances and the evolving political strategies in the wake of the 2024 elections.