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ISLAMABAD: The former chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Barrister Gohar Ali Khan on Tuesday threw his weight behind Sher Afzal Marwat, after two party leaders – Hamid Khan and Raoof Hasan – disowned him.

Talking to journalists, Barrister Gohar, who is now former PTI chairman, said Marwat is a PTI candidate from Lakki Marwat and he will contest the elections from there.

He also rubbished Raoof Hasan’s claim that Marwat never met Imran Khan in jail. Gohar said “he [Marwat] did meet Khan and he is doing a wonderful job.”

“I would request everyone in the party to keep their pers0nal grudges. We all should work together for a common cause which is to put the country back on track of democracy for which our leader is languishing in jail,” he added.

However, he did acknowledge the challenges within the party, citing internal disagreements as an inherent aspect of democratic processes.

About electoral alliances, Gohar clarified that PTI has never made an alliance with the Sunni Ittehad Council, dispelling rumors to the contrary.

The controversy surrounding Sher Afzal Marwat escalated due to statements made by PTI central information secretary Raoof Hasan and Hamid Khan advocate during the election campaign led by the former in Sindh.

Marwat, responding to the remarks, withdrew from the campaign, denouncing the statements as products of “sick mentality.”

Hamid Khan and Raoof Hassan had questioned Sher Afzal Marwat’s activities.

The uncertainty regarding Marwat’s purported meetings with Imran Khan in jail adds an intriguing layer to the internal dynamics of PTI.

However, within hours after announcing calling off the party’s election campaign in Sindh, Marwat took a U-turn and said he would continue electioneering amid conflicting statements from senior PTI leaders.

In a post on social media platform X, he said: “Workers are right and I will continue campaigning for PTI in Sindh. I will not be distracted.”

The development comes hours after Marwat called off his campaign in Sindh, claiming that he was criticized by senior PTI leaders, Raoof Hasan and Hamid Khan.

Earlier in the day, Marwat said that he was calling off his campaign in Sindh after the party’s central information secretary Raoof Hasan and senior leader Hamid Khan disowned him.

Marwat, one of the counsels for jailed ex-prime minister Imran Khan, was elevated to the position of senior vice president of the party in November. He has been at the forefront at a time when the majority of PTI’s core leadership is in hiding or has parted ways.

He has been catapulted into the spotlight over the past few months due to his fiery speeches at the party’s public events. On Sunday, he launched the party’s election campaign from Sindh.

Marwat further said that he would not lead any rally and was leaving Sindh “half way” until the matter was settled.

“Let Hamid Khan and Raoof Hasan muster courage and lead the public. Initially, you tried to take me out of the legal team and now you want me to leave the campaign. I leave the campaign field to you. Show your strength and courage,” he concluded.

In a separate tweet, Marwat called Hasan a “conspirator” and alleged that the latter was creating rifts in the party.

“He spoke against me a few times on electronic media. This time he has disputed the meeting with Imran on January 13, which was held in the presence of half a dozen lawyers, including Imran’s spouse, his sisters, Ejaz Buttar and Naeem Haider Panjotha. One can confirm this with these persons,” he said.

“This old devil has started this campaign to undermine the successful campaign of Sindh,” Marwat added.

It must be recalled that Marwat also got into a spat with two senior PTI leaders last year, exposing the shortcomings of the legal wing of the former ruling party.

Marwat had called Advocate Shoaib Shaheen, “a traitor” and accused him of entering the PTI legal team with the backing of a couple of party leaders. He had also alleged that Shaheen had leaked their legal strategies to the opposing side.

However, the party had officially distanced itself from Marwat’s statement and implicitly supported Shaheen.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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