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Thursday February 29, 2024

Another U-turn: PTI issues fresh tickets; 21 candidates replaced

On the instructions of Chairman Imran Khan, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has withdrawn tickets for 21 constituencies and fielded fresh candidates

April 27, 2023
Imran Khan addressing an event through a video link on February 1, 2023. Screengrab of a Twitter video.
Imran Khan addressing an event through a video link on February 1, 2023. Screengrab of a Twitter video.

LAHORE: On the instructions of Chairman Imran Khan, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has withdrawn tickets for 21 constituencies and fielded fresh candidates.

Besides, nine more tickets have been issued for constituencies on which the decision was pending. The fresh list shows that the PTI has also fielded scions of political and influential families or former MNAs and MPAs who had been with PMLN, PPP or PMLQ in the past. Former MNAs, including Rana Nazir Ahmed and Moazzam Khan Jatoi, have been awarded PTI tickets whereas former MPA of PPP in 2002 and 2008 from Muzaffargarh Ehsanul Haq Nolatia has got the PTI ticket. Similarly, former PTI MPA of 2013 from Rawalpindi Arif Abbasi has been awarded a ticket.

In the updated and revised list of PTI ticket-holders, Rana Nazir Ahmad of Kamonki, Gujranwala, is the most experienced politician who has been fielded for PP-61. Rana Nazir served as MNA in 1985, 1988, 1990, 1997 and 2013. His son Umar Nazir has served as an MNA. Rana Nazir was once considered a close confidant of PMLN supermo Nawaz Sharif and was amongst the five closest aides of Nawaz, who were dubbed Paanch Pyaray in political circles. He later turned to the PMLQ and joined the PMLN again in 2008. Before the 2018 general elections, his group joined the PTI but was defeated. This time, he has been fielded for a provincial seat.

Ali Wakeel, who is the PTI ticket-holder for PP-57, is the nephew of former provincial minister late Rana Shamshad Ahmed Khan. Rana Shamshad served as Member of Punjab Assembly for different terms and was gunned down. His brother Rana Akhter got elected as MPA in the by-election and now Ali Wakeel is contesting the poll on a PTI ticket. Ahsanul Haq Nolatia has been awarded ticket for PP-269, Muzaffargarh. He served as a PPP MPA in 2002 and 2008 but could not return to the PA in 2013 and 2018.

A member of the Khar family of Muzaffargarh, Nadia Khar has been awarded ticket for PP-271. Though the Khar family represents different political parties, it includes key names of Pakistani politics including former governor Punjab Malik Ghulam Mustafa Khar, his brothers Ghulam Rabbani Khar, his son Bilal Mustafa Khar and his niece Hina Rabbani Khar. Other members of the Khar clan including Jawad Kamran Khar have served as MNAs, federal ministers and MPAs. Moazzam Khan Jatoi, former PPP MNA in 2008, who later joined the PTI and won the July 2022 election on a provincial seat, has been fielded again, this time from PP-276.

It is pertinent to mention that most of the ticket-holders fielded from Punjab represent Jutt or Rajpoot clans. According to PTI Secretary General Asad Umar, the PTI, after a review, has issued tickets for 30 seats. In 21 constituencies, the previous ticket-holders have been replaced and nine are those for whom decisions were pending.