ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has become single largest party in terms of fielding maximum number of candidates for general elections by covering almost 90 per cent of the national and provincial assembly seats across the country.
The party has awarded tickets to candidates for 244 out of total 272 National Assembly constituencies (89 per cent), and 522 out of total 577 provincial assembly constituencies (or 90.2 per cent).
From PTI platform, women activists will contest direct elections on a total of 38 constituencies – 14 on NA seats and 24 on PA seats.
PTI has made electoral alliance by making seat adjustments in different constituencies with Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain led Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), Sheikh Rasheed led Awami Muslim League (AML), Majlis Wahdatul Muslimeen (MWM), Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA), and Ijazul Haq led Pakistan Muslim League-Ziaul Haq (PML-Z).
In its final list, PTI has made a couple of amendments.
Party has withdrawn ticket from its earlier announced candidate for NA-64 (Chakwal) Sardar Ghulam Abbas and awarded it to Zulfiqar Ali Khan.
Interestingly, Khan was earlier awarded a provincial assembly ticket by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). Until Friday he was a PML-N’s candidate from PP-23 (Chakwal-III). However, he managed to win PTI’s ticket from NA-64 and subsequently announced to quit PML-N and surrendered its ticket.
On June 27, nomination papers of Sardar Ghulam Abbas were rejected by an appellate tribunal of the Lahore High Court (LHC). However, he had challenged the decision before LHC and a two-judge bench headed by Justice Muzahir Naqvi while suspending the decision of rejection order fixed the case for hearing on July 3.
Though, PTI’s legal team is of the opinion that LHC is likely to reject nomination papers due to some apparent lacunas and lately the leadership decided to change its candidate in the constituency.
The situation infuriated Abbas, who is of the opinion that party decided the matter in haste.
“I joined PTI with a commitment and it was my wish that I could do something good for my constituents through the platform of PTI,” he said in his address to his workers who gathered outside his house after the decision.
He said following consultation with his supporters he would announce his decision about July 25 elections on Saturday evening. Reliable sources claim that PTI ticket holders from PP-21, 22 and 23, who are close political aides of Abbas, are also planning to review their decision of contesting elections on PTI tickets.
“Imran Khan is my friend since 1992. He has lost his first wicket today,” Abbas lamented saying the decision to withdraw ticket from him had been made by party’s second tier leadership.
Similarly, on NA-176 (Rahim Yar Khan) Mian Ghous has replaced earlier announced candidate Makhdum Khusroo Bakhtiar. Bakhtiar was given tickets from NA-176 and NA-177. Now Bakhtiar will only contest from NA-177.
On a disputed constituency of NA-154 (Multan), party ticket has been awarded to Malik Ahmed Hussain Dehar instead of Jahangir Khan Tareen-backed candidate Sikandar Bosan.
In NA-10 (Shangla), PTI has changed its candidate. Now, ticket has been given to Waqar Ahmad Khan after withdrawing it from previous candidate Nawaz Mehmood.
For Punjab, PTI has fielded 285 candidates against 297 total seats in the province. Sindh has 130 provincial assembly seats and candidates are announced for 98 seats. Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa has 99 seats and candidates are placed against 98 constituencies. And in Balochistan there are a total of 51 seats and candidates are announced on 41 seats.