Desperate PTI gears up for Senate polls

  • Seeks JI’s help for Sarwar’s victory

  • Imran Khan calls meeting of PTI Punjab MPs


LAHORE: With the isolated Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) gearing up for the upcoming Senate polls, PTI Chairman Imran Khan has called a meeting of the PTI MPAs from Punjab, Pakistan Today learnt on Wednesday.

It has been learnt that the MPAs from Punjab have been assigned the task to garner maximum support from fellow colleagues in favour of the PTI’s candidate Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar, who will contest the Senate elections from Punjab.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf core committee member and former governor Chaudhry Sarwar along with a delegation headed by him met Jamat-e-Islami (JI) Ameer Senator Siraj Ul Haq in Mansoora. The delegation demanded help from the JI for the Senate elections in Punjab.

Opposition leader in the Punjab Assembly Mian Mehmoodur Rashid, PTI leader Sibtain Khan and JI leader Waseem Akhtar were also present in the meeting.

The leaders discussed the contemporary political situation, especially the Senate elections. Committee members Kamil Ali Agha, Chaudhry Zaheer Uddin and PTI lawmaker Mehmoodur Rashid also agreed to adopt a joint path for the Senate elections. Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar said that campaigning for votes is our democratic and constitutional right. The situation will become clearer in a few days. He said the members of the Punjab Assembly will cast their votes according to their conscience and irrespective of party affiliations. Democratically minded lawmakers who want to serve the public will vote for me, he added.

Though the PTI has formed a joint committee with the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) to finalise the names of the candidates for the elections of the Parliament’s upper house, yet it is highly unlikely for its candidate to win the Senate seat. The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and PML-Q together have a total strength of 16 MPAs while the PTI with 30 seats is not in a position to get Sarwar elected to the upper house of the parliament. It has been learnt that four independent MPAs are supporting the PTI, but even that will not enable the party to receive 45 to 47 votes that are needed for a candidate to win the polls.

The PTI’s biggest supporter PML-Q too has fielded its own candidate Kamil Ali Agha and its support to Chaudhry Sarwar is not yet clear. The PPP has fielded a strong candidate Nawab Shehzad who happens to be the son-in-law of former Punjab chief minister and former Punjab Assembly speaker Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo. However, the PPP is also not in a position to win despite Watto’s stature in the Punjab Assembly.

It may be noted that desperate PTI Chairman Imran Khan earlier had held a meeting at the office of former secretary general Jehangir Khan Tareen and invited only two MPAs from Punjab, that had angered the rest of the provincial lawmakers.

Now, Imran has called a meeting of all PTI MPAs from Punjab to address their reservations at the crucial moment and ensure Sarwar’s victory in the Senate polls that will be held on March 3.