–Fatyana, Tiwana and Ghulam Abbas likely to get tickets in review
ISLAMABAD: In a run-up to the electioneering process, an extraordinary meeting of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) parliamentary board is all set to take place to take decisions on award of party tickets on rest of the national and provincial assembly constituencies.
The meeting is overdue as PTI chief Imran Khan is about to culminate his three-day visit to Saudi Arabia where he performed Umrah along with his spouse and some party friends.
Well-placed sources in PTI have informed Pakistan Today that a challenging task awaits Khan upon his return as he also is set to take up over a hundred complaints forwarded by party loyalists against what they have called the “unjust” award of party tickets.
The sources said that Khan would be briefed on the results of a review survey conducted by a private survey company where various factions are claiming majority votes and have requested a change of party tickets.
According to a party leader, who wished not to be identified, the parliamentary board has decided to change party tickets awarded to candidates at around three constituencies, including NA-74 Sialkot/Pasroor, NA-94 Khushab and NA-113 Kamalia.
Previously PTI had awarded tickets to Mansur Sarwar at NA-74 Sialkot/Pasroor which would now be awarded to Chaudhry Ghulam Abbas. Abbas is a local political heavyweight who had secured over 38,232 votes as an independent candidate in general elections held in 2013 against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) Zahid Hamid who had secured 1,31,468 votes.
The parliamentary board has also recommended overturning its previous decision to award ticket to Gul Asghar Khan in NA-94 Khushab. The ticket is likely to be awarded to Malik Ihsanullah of powerful Tiwana family which has been winning the elections since the 1940s.
Khuda Bux Khan Tiwana and Ghulam Mohammad Tiwana have won from this constituency from various political parties and wield great influence in across the district. Malik Ihsanullah Tiwana, the youngest among Tiwana brothers, had joined PTI in its initial days and has remained loyal to the party since then.
Though Ihsanullah Tiwana had announced not to contest after the party’s decision, the two PTI candidates for Punjab Assembly (PA) constituencies, Malik Hamid Mehmood Tiwana for PP-83 Khushab-II and Sardar Shuja Muhammad Khan from PP-84 Khushab-III, who both have got party tickets, have refused to contest saying they can’t win without support from Tiwana family.
The third National Assembly (NA) constituency being reviewed is NA-113 Kamalia, Toba Tek Singh where the party had awarded ticket to Haider Khan Kharal, the son of late Khalid Kharal. The board has decided to award party ticket to Riaz Fatyana, the man who has joined PTI twice in the past but later switched sides both times.
This very habit of Fatyana had compelled Khan to go against Fatyana the party ticket this time around but the parliamentary board has reviewed the decision after repeated requests by party loyalists from Kamalia.
Another constituency is in NA-141 Okara where the party has awarded ticket to former information minister Sumsam Bukhari who has little influence in the newly drawn constituency. The party’s own leader Masood Shafqat Rabera Kharal is the winner if awarded ticket but the party is reluctant to award him the ticket due to successive discipline violation by Masood in past.
Despite repeated attempts and requests from party stalwarts, the board looks in no mood to change its mind. However, Khan would take the final decision. Sources say that the party is likely to award party ticket to Mian Ghous Mohammad from NA-176 Rahimyar Khan-II.