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ISLAMABAD: After party workers raised serious objections, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday decided to review distribution of Senate tickets, putting the fates of “dreamers” lobbying to become senators including Water Resources Minister Faisal Vawda hanging in the balance. In an emergency meeting of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s parliamentary board, the prime minister said that no “parachuters” would be given a ticket, as the party would proceed with the proposals given by its “ideological” workers, as they were the real asset of the party.

The prime minister decided to review the allocation of Senate tickets, after the PTI workers objected to the parliamentary board’s decision to award to tickets to people such as Vawda, Saifullah Abro, Najiullah Khattak, etc, who they said, were in no way deserving of tickets for one reason or another.

They said Vawda was trying to become a senator in order to avoid a dual nationality case against him pending before the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the Islamabad High Court; Abro was facing a controversy while Khattak had no services for the party.

Well-placed sources privy to the development told Business Recorder that PM Khan consulted party leaders on the issue of tickets in the Senate elections, and indicated that some decision might be changed.

PM Khan stressed that all tickets would be issued on merit, adding he respected the wishes of his party members, and that “parachuters” would not be made senators, the sources quoted him as saying.

They said the final decision on the distribution of tickets was expected to take place within the next 24 hours.

The PTI has come under severe criticism from its provincial chapters especially in Sindh and Balochistan for awarding Senate tickets to Vawda, Abro, and Khattak.

Earlier, the central party leadership withdrew the Balochistan Senate ticket from business tycoon, Abdul Qadir, after backlash and issued it to Zahoor Agha.

The party had to face issues as Agha’s basic party membership was turned out to be suspended, and he had not responded to a show cause notice issued to him by the party.

Encouraged by the Balochistan fiasco, key party leaders from three zones of rural Sindh approached the governor on Sunday to express their anger, and demand the party’s high command to take back tickets from Vawda and Abro.

In the letter, the PTI office-bearers from the three regions said they were extremely disappointed with the entire process of the selection of the PTI's candidates for the Senate polls.

The PTI leaders from rural Sindh asked to review the allocation of the Senate tickets from Sindh, and said the decision would harm the party in the upcoming local government polls.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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