There are now three candidates for Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf’s general secretary (Lahore). The election is scheduled for February 26.
“I have parted ways with the Unity Group. The PTI needs clean, educated, fresh and dynamic people to lead the party. I realised that the Unity Group was not fielding such candidates,” said Hammad Azhar.
The Unity Group has put forward Abdul Rasheed Bhatti for general secretary while the Ideology Group has fielded Farhat Abbas. The Unity Group had nominated Azhar for senior vice president. Azhar rejected the nomination and will run independently for general secretary.
A party official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that the Unity Group had earlier promised Azhar the nomination for general secretary.
Bhatti was nominated instead apparently to secure rural union councils’ votes. The official said a group had expressed resentment at this decision, especially since the Ideology Group has nominated a youth for the position.
Unity Group’s Dr Shahid Siddiqui said the newly elected office bearers should elect new and energetic young candidates. The politics of status quo had no room in the party if we want change, he added.
Ejaz Chaudhary, nominated for president (Punjab), said that the situation would remain fluid until the election was over.
Azhar claimed support of over 350 union council office bearers. He said he had been offered a key slot by another group but had decided to run independently.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 19th, 2013.
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