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June 15, 2013

Lobbying on in PTI for NA-5, NA 13 by-polls

June 15, 2013

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak and Speaker Asad Qaiser are reportedly lobbying to obtain party tickets for their close relatives to contest by-election on the National Assembly seats they had vacated, sources in Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) said.
The chief minister is the PTI’s central secretary general and speaker the provincial president and both have say in the party. Khattak won the National Assembly seat, NA-5, in his native Nowshera while Qaiser clinched victory on NA-13 in Swabi. Both the PTI leaders had also succeeded on Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly seats from their home districts.
They chose to vacate the National Assembly seats in order to secure key positions in the provincial government led by PTI. Khattak retained PK-13 to secure the coveted office of the chief minister while Qaiser kept PK-35 to take hold of the office of the speaker of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly.
An insider said Pervez Khattak was lobbying to secure party ticket for NA-5 for his nephew, Imran Khattak, who is also his son-in-law. Asad Qaiser is allegedly using his influence to field his brother, Abdul Waheed.
Qaiser did not respond to calls and a text message to give his version. Shaukat Ali Yousafzai, the PTI provincial secretary general and government spokesman, ignored calls and a text message that asked for his party’s viewpoint on the issue.
Imran Khan, the PTI chief, has taunted and criticized other political parties, particularly the Pakistan People’s Party and the Pakistan Muslim League-N for promoting dynastic politics. In his election rallies, he promised to discourage dynasties but leaders in his party are promoting this practice. “This is disturbing. This is not the party we wanted and these are not the principles we stood for. Now, we even cannot face people as we have been doing things we vociferously opposed,” said a PTI leader, requesting not to be identified because it could cause him problems.
Another PTI

leader, who also preferred to remain anonymous, said Imran Khan was contradicting his own words. “When he was awarding tickets in Islamabad, he clearly told us that he would expel parachuters and leaders’ relatives,” he said. “Imran Khan knew Pervez Khattak had submitted papers for three of his female relatives on reserved seats, but he ignored it and also did not listen to complaints from workers,” he added.
An old worker of the PTI, requesting not to be named as he is not authorized to make statements, said it is no crime to be a relative of a leader. He said the PTI has formulated such a system that everyone is judged on merit. He said only those who deserved would get the ticks ultimately.
Several PTI workers were aspiring for party ticket on NA-1 Peshawar. It now appears that the name of Gul Bacha has been finalised for the ticket. PTI leaders did not respond to calls to confirm or deny it. However, when central spokesperson Shireen Mazari was asked about awarding the ticket to Gul Bacha, her response was a half yes. “This is the sense we have but we will have to wait and see when election schedule is announced,” she said in a text message.
Gul Bacha was one of the few leaders in Peshawar who led Imran Khan’s election campaign in NA-1. However, some of the PTI activists said he was controversial. “He is an Afghan national who has managed to make legal documents in Pakistan,” a PTI leader wishing anonymity said.
The allegation could not be confirmed. It was learnt though that Gul Bacha had contested and won election for union council nazim in Peshawar in 2001.

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