PESHAWAR: Having been expelled from the party for allegedly indulging in horse-trading during the Senate elections, a former PTI lawmaker has decided to exact his revenge through the democratic process, contesting against his former party on the ticket of a rival party
Yasin Khan Khalil, who had been a member of the last Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) assembly on a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) ticket, has submitted his nomination papers for PK-73 on a ticket of the rival Pakistan People Party (PPP).
Khalil was among the 18 PTI lawmakers who had been accused by the PTI leadership in April of indulging in horse-trading during the March Senate elections. Khalil, along with other accused lawmakers, had vehemently denied the allegations and had demanded that the PTI leadership prove their allegations.
While the party sent him a show-cause notice and eventually cancelled their basic party membership — effectively kicking them out of the party, Khalil along with some other members had written to the K-P governor to demand a vote of confidence over then provincial chief minister Pervez Khattak.
After the PTI announced tickets for constituencies, PK-73 has emerged as a contentious constituency.
As many as 33 candidates, including two women, had submitted their applications for a party ticket. However, like in a few other constituencies, the party awarded the ticket to an apparent outsider, candidates claim.
Comprising areas under PK-5 Peshawar before new numbering for the freshly delimited constituencies saw it changed to PK-73, had been won by Khalil in the 2013 general elections by securing a whopping 31,575 votes — over 20,000 more votes than his nearest competitor.
After the party awarded the ticket to Jhagra, there was an uproar amongst party workers who demanded that a local should have been handed a ticket, not someone who lives in Islamabad. Party loyalist Zahid Mohmand had last week threatened to put forward their own candidate if an outsider was handed the ticket from the constituency.
Residents of the area twice staged protested against the party’s decision.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Khalil confirmed that he had joined PPP and had submitted nomination papers on a PPP ticket for PK-73.
The provincial assembly candidate said that it was hard for him to run with the PTI in the future after he was slapped with baseless allegations.
Notwithstanding, Khalil said that his brother Asghar had applied for PTI tickets but the party did not allot him a ticket. Curiously, Khalil said that his brother had applied for him as well and that he did get called by the party.
“I was called for an interview but I turned it down because it was difficult for me to run for a party comprising people who accuse me,” he said.
Talking to The Express Tribune, a PTI candidate wishing not to be named, claimed that the ticket had been handed to Jhagra on the recommendation of disqualified party member Jehangir Tareen. To make matters worse, the candidate claimed that Jhagara has applied for PK-69 but the party allotted him PK-73 instead.
The candidate added that all local body members and other party leaders from the area were against the party decision and had demanded that the party leadership review their decision and hand the ticket to a local.
Even when Jhagra approached the town and union council members of the area, they refused to back him.
PTI Candidate for PK-73 Najiullah Khattak urged party leaders to hand the ticket to a candidate who was acceptable to people of the area.
He said that the party should hand the ticket to a candidate who is available and accessible to the people, adding that how will people trust a man with their vote if he hails from Islamabad and no one knows him in the constituency.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 13th, 2018.