ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has yet to field its candidates on two provincial assembly seats in Rawalpindi from where disgruntled Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan intends to contest general elections.
The situation has given rise to speculation that PTI has been making a veiled attempt to favour Nisar by not fielding its candidates in both constituencies, PP-10 and PP-12.
However, a most senior PTI leader who is responsible to manage and decide party affairs in district Rawalpindi has rejected the impression outright, saying “PTI candidates for both constituencies will be finalised over the next couple of days”.
Explaining the matter of delay, he told The Express Tribune that primarily it is because of unending dispute among a number of ticket aspirants from both the constituencies. “PTI candidate for National Assembly seat from the area, Ghulam Sarwar Khan, has been asked to give his input about electability of candidates wishing to contest from PP-10 and PP-12. Soon after having his input, party will announce its candidates for both seats,” he added.
Moreover, Nisar had submitted his nomination papers from two National Assembly constituencies, NA-63 and NA-59, and two provincial assembly seats, PP-10 and PP-12, from Rawalpindi. He recently announced he will contest on all seats as an independent candidate.
On the other hand, making the contest tougher for Nisar the PML-N has awarded party tickets in all four constituencies. Former PML-N MPA Raja Qamarul Islam has been fielded against Nisar in NA-59 and PP-10, Mumtaz Khan in NA-63, and Faisal Qayyum Malik in PP-12.
Qamarul Islam was arrested by National Accountability Bureau on Monday for his alleged involvement in Saaf Pani Company (SPC) scam. He was a member of Board of Directors of SPC.
PTI has also nominated its former MNA Ghulam Sarwar Khan as its candidate for NA-59 and NA-63. However, decision is yet to be made for PP-10 and PP-12.
Talking to The Express Tribune a close aide to Ghulam Sarwar Khan also denied existence of any backhand deal for Nisar in PP-10 and PP-12. “There are a number of party leaders, including old and new entrants, who want to contest from these provincial assembly constituencies on PTI ticket. Leadership is trying to resolve dispute over tickets here and once it is settled final candidates will be announced,” he said.
PTI’s head of Central Media Department Iftikhar Durrani said party’s parliamentary board meets almost on a daily basis to finalise candidates. “It’s not humanly possible for board members to decide candidates for all national and provincial assembly seats at once,” Durrani said, adding candidates for the remaining constituencies would be announced soon.
PP-10 consists of areas including Chakri, Bassali, Adwali, Banda, Sihal and some areas of Tehsil Kallar Sayyedan. While PP-12 consists of areas including Lakhan, Dhamyal, Dhama, and Jarahi areas of Rawalpindi. Prominent PTI leaders Hamid Nawaz Raja, Chaudhry Nazir and Chaudhry Ajmal are in the run for party tickets from PP-10 and PP-12.