Why Was Khawaja Asif Missing From PML-N Delegation At Bilawal’s Iftar Dinner?
By Special Correspondent: Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz’s (PML-N) firebrand politician Khawaja Muhammad Asif, who has recently been elevated to the position of party’s parliamentary leader in the National Assembly was missing at the Iftar Dinner at Zardari House on Sunday.
But why did he not show up?
PML-N was free to decide the size and composition of its delegation at the dinner. Then why didn’t Khawaja Asif accompany the Shahid Khaqan Abbasi-led team?
Naya Daur investigations reveal that Asif showed up at Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s residence on Sunday evening to convey his full support for attending the dinner but requested to be excused from attending the event. The reasons of his absence are purely personal though, our investigations suggest.
Khawaja Asif and Asif Zardari are old friends. “When anybody in our party needed anything from Zardari, we would request Khawaja Asif for help” revealed a party insider.
But the relations between the two haven’t been warm for a while now, said a source. Once they were fast buddies but now they are not even on talking terms, said the party source.
When the case for Khawaja Asif’s disqualification was filed in the apex court by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate Usman Dar, Asif approached prominent lawyer Farooq Naek to represent him. Naek, who is a PPP leader, is also a close family relative of Khawaja Asif. Naek told Khawaja Asif that he would seek Mr Zardari’s permission. But Naek’s response disappointed Khawaja Asif as Naek told him that Mr Zardari had refused to allow him to take the case. The PML-N veteran from Sialkot was infuriated.
He felt betrayed. He thinks Zardari should not have stopped Naek.
So on Sunday, Asif came to Shahid Khaqan’s residence and told the party leaders about the bitter episode and requested to be excused, said PML-N sources. “I don’t want anything unpleasant between us there and spoil the positive energy we want to generate”, he told Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and other colleagues, said a PML-N insider. That is why he didn’t go to Zardari House and everybody accepted his request.