KARACHI: The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) on Tuesday awarded tickets to its leaders from Sindh to contest the Senate elections scheduled in March. As many as 12 PPP senators from the province are retiring in March.
According to a PPP spokesperson, seven tickets have been issued for general seats, two each for seats reserved for technocrats and women and one for the province’s minority seat.
Those who have been awarded the tickets include Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani and Barrister Murtaza Wahab who will be retiring next month, former Sindh information adviser Moula Bux Chandio, Imamdin Shokeen, former PML-F MPA who joined the PPP Ali Jamote, Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar and Ayaz Mehr.
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For the technocrat seats, the party has awarded ticket to Sindh Health Minister Dr Sikandar Mandhro and Rukhsana Zuberi. For the two women seats, a ticket has been awarded to Krishana Kolhi, a Hindu woman from Tharparkar district. The nomination of Kohli comes as surprise as she belongs to a lower Hindu class family and once a victim of bonded labour. She has also spent three years with her family in a private jail of a landlord hailing from Umerkot district. She and her family joined the PPP just before the last local government elections. The other ticket has been given to Quratulain Marri, sister of PPP MNA Shazia Atta Marri.
The tickets were handed over to the candidates by MNA Faryal Talpur at Bilawal House Karachi in the presence of PPP Sindh chapter president Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, former chief minister Qaim Ali Shah and incumbent Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah. The candidates will soon visit the provincial election commission and submit their nomination papers.
The party spokesperson said the tickets were given to the candidates after they had been interviewed by a nine-member parliamentary board, comprising former president Asif Ali Zardari, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, MNA Faryal Talpur, former chief minister Qaim Ali Shah, former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani, party’s spokesperson Farhatullah Babar, secretary general Nayyar Bukhari and former deputy chairman Senate Sabir Baloch.
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Of the 26 PPP members in the Senate form all provinces, 18 are retiring in March.
The outgoing senators include Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani, leader of the opposition Aitzaz Ahsan, Barrister Murtaza Wahab, Sardar Fateh Mohammed Hassani, Taj Haider, Farhatullah Babar, Dr Kareem Khawaja, Aajiz Dhamrah, Saifullah Magsi, Rozi Khan Kakar, Rubina Khalid and Mohammad Yousaf.
In view of the large number of retirements, the PPP is also trying to get its senators elected from Balochistan, and the party leadership has started negotiations with Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo.