RAWALPINDI: Various issues plaguing the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), both vying for seats in Rawalpindi, have delayed the finalisation of their candidates to contest the forthcoming elections in the garrison city.
Talking to The Express Tribune, PTI North Punjab President Sadaqat Ali Abbasi said a parliamentary committee comprising four members had been constituted to help the party finalise names and negotiate seat adjustments with the Jamaat-i-Islami (JI).
“We have reservations as the JI is demanding more than it deserves,” said Abbasi.
Abbasi added that the PTI would negotiate seat adjustments on the condition that JI would not make alliances with other parties.
The PTI has thrown its support behind Sheikh Rashid Ahmed’s in NA-55 after Ahmed withdrew his nomination papers for NA-56.
While claiming that the PTI would do its best to bar corrupt politicians from contesting elections, Abbasi said it was up to district organisations to raise an objection.
PML-N is facing its own issues. An office bearer wishing to remain anonymous said leaders have not considered party workers as potential candidates.
“District President Sardar Naseem’s awarding of a party ticket to contest elections should be looked into by the central leadership” he said.
Playing down the competition between PML-N and the PTI, former MNA Malik Abrar said the latter had no vote bank in Rawalpindi, minimising potential threats to the former.
“We will focus on constituencies where our position is strongest, and distribute the votes of other parties in the remaining ones,” said a party leader.
As many as 614 candidates have filed nomination papers in the Rawalpindi Division against seven national assembly and 14 provincial assembly seats. Prominent candidates include former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, former opposition leader Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, and Shakeel Awan.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 1st, 2013.