MULTAN: Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Jahangir Tareen – two political heavyweights of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) – exchanged barbs on Friday as the party faces an uphill task of resolving the issue of awarding party tickets with general elections only a month away.
Taking a jibe at the party’s former secretary general during a news conference at his residence in Multan, Qureshi remarked that ‘Tareen is not part of the game anymore’ so no question of differences arises. “How can I compete with someone who cannot even take part in elections?” he was quoted by Express News as saying.
The Supreme Court had disqualified Tareen from holding a public office for concealing his 12-acre Hyde House property in the United Kingdom in his nomination papers before the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in December last year.
Reacting to Qureshi’s remarks, Tareen said the PTI vice-chairman should first resolve reservations of people of his own constituency before blaming others. “I am working as an ordinary PTI worker and will continue to stand with the party like before,” he added.
Tareen, Qureshi exchange barbs at PTI meeting
Tareen said the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) should investigate everyone’s assets. It would clear the ambiguities, he added. Qureshi was giving examples from PML-N as if it was an ideal political party, said Tareen, adding that it should be known to everyone that cracks have even occurred in the house of Sharifs.
He said that injustice has been done to women of South Punjab over the matter of issuance of party tickets.
Shah Mehmood Qureshi, in today’s press conference, had admitted reservations shown by the party workers and supporters over provision of party tickets. He also stated that the PTI was not the only party facing the issue. Zaeem Qadri [of PML-N] also rose in rebellion on the matter of ticket, he said, adding that PPP was also facing problems on the matter of party tickets in Sindh.
Qureshi went on to say that the PTI has given tickets on the basis of personal loyalty, character and personal influence of candidates. Over 4,500 people applied for the tickets in contrast to the 2013 election, when the party could not even find candidates in many constituencies, he added.
“The situation is altogether different now as 73 people are striving for tickets from one constituency of Peshawar alone,” said Qureshi.
He added that angry workers had held a demonstration outside Bani Gala and this prompted Imran Khan to order party’s additional secretary general Arshad Daad to listen to their complaints. Qureshi highlighted that a review board had submitted its report to Imran Khan and the party chief would make a final decision on the matter.
“Imran Khan is the Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto of PTI,” the vice-chairman said.
Jehangir Tareen skips party meeting chaired by Shah Mehmood Qureshi
Shah Mahmood Qurshi said that a decision was still to be taken over one national assembly seat and five provincial constituencies of Multan, the city of saints. “I was accused of giving party tickets to my relatives. The decision to give tickets is to be made by Imran Khan,” he added.
He emphasised that he has always kept party interests above personal relations and designation. He urged workers to be passionate towards the creation of a “new Pakistan”.
“I am ready to sacrifice everything to make Imran Khan the next premiere of the country,” he stated.
Taking a jibe at his opponents, Qureshi said those who supported former military dictator Pervez Musharraf would never be included in PTI. However, he stressed those same Musharraf supporters were part of PML-N’s cabinet.
“Democracy is a numbers game and those who are electable should be given priority for party tickets,” said Qureshi. “However, after winning, these people must follow the ideology of PTI.” He also stressed that PTI wanted to bring forward women politicians who could play a positive role in legislation.
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