PESHAWAR: National Assembly (NA) seats vacated by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) leaders Asad Qaiser and Pervez Khattak are being manipulated to the advantage of close relatives of the two, alleged PTI members.
NA-5 Nowshera and NA-13 Swabi were won by Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Chief Minister (CM) Pervez Khattak and K-P Assembly Speaker Asad Qaisar in the May 11 elections. As their titles suggest, the two chose to retain their provincial seats. And now cries of foul play are afloat.
PTI members wishing to remain anonymous maintain Khattak and Qaiser are working on allocating party tickets for NA-5 and NA-13 to Khattak’s son-in-law Dr Imran, and Qaiser’s brother Waheed Khan, respectively.
“There are more deserving candidates who should get the tickets for the vacated NA seats but nepotism is supreme in the party at the moment,” complained a disgruntled party leader.
Iqbal Hussain Khattak is one of the best candidates from NA-5, and, the leader added, as far as NA-13 is concerned Haji Asif, Sajid Khan and Anwar Haqdad are the worthwhile nominees instead of Qaiser’s brother Waheed.
After cherry-picking reserved seats for their close relatives, the CM and speaker are attempting to award NA tickets to more relatives, claimed a person familiar with the matter.
“What happened to party chief Imran Khan’s stance on not allowing ‘parachute landings’ on seats?”
Protesting the portfolios
PTI office bearers from Peshawar district organised a protest after 12 members of the provincial cabinet took oath at the Governor House on Thursday.
Party members gathered in front of the Peshawar Press Club to register their discontent with the PTI leadership on the “unacceptable” distribution of party portfolios.
PTI leaders Irfan Saleem from PK-1 Peshawar, Zahid Nadeem from PK-2, and Riaz Ahmad from PK-3 led the demonstration, claiming Peshawar was ignored in the allocation of ministerial slots.
“The old PTI fold is uneasy about the decision to not include MPA Javed Naseem in the provincial cabinet,” pointed out Riaz Ahmad.
The protesting PTI workers were of the view that CM Khattak and assembly speaker Qaiser made ‘discretionary’ decisions to include ‘blue-eyed’ men in the provincial cabinet. They asked Imran to include Naseem, the MPA from PK-3 Peshawar, in addition to addressing their grievances.
According to PTI insiders, there is growing discontent within the party, which seems less united than it previously was.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 14th, 2013.