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January 19, 2015

PTI to welcome electables


January 19, 2015

ISLAMABAD: In its abiding hunt for ‘electables’, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has just accepted in its fold two political figures, who had no place in any other major party especially the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) due to the district alignments and groupings in their respective areas.
In the last elections that the PTI loudly disputes, it failed to field candidates for all the national and provincial seats even in Punjab where it is struggling to nibble at the vote bank of the PML-N by raising hue and cry over the authenticity of the electoral process.
Before the next elections the PTI has started preparing itself to have sufficient candidates and is accepting everybody who is anybody, having some say in the electoral politics. It is not bothered about the kind of politics and affiliations that such new entrants preferred in the past.
Both Riaz Fatyna and Saeed Virk, who announced to jump on the PTI bandwagon in the presence of Imran Khan on Saturday, were associated with the PML-Q in its heydays but when they saw its political fortunes waning they ditched it and contested the 2013 general elections as independent candidates. Both lost to the PML-N nominees.
Fatyna and Virk were not acceptable in the PML-N as it can’t ignore its important candidates in the two constituencies. They did not find the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) attractive as it is yet to come out of the shock of the drubbing it received in the 2013 polls.
Fatyna and Chaudhry Asadur Rehman, brother of former Supreme Court judge Khalilur Rehman Ramday, are old rivals in Toba Tek Singh and have been vying for the National Assembly seat, NA-94, against each other. Both are formidable fighters and have been winning or losing against each other.
Imran Khan has repeatedly accused Ramday of being part of a conspiracy in collusion with former Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to defeat the PTI and win the PML-N in the 2013 elections.While Asadur Rehman has

always firmly stood with the PML-N and has been unflinching, Fatyna has been wavering even when he was aligned with the PML-Q.
In last polls, Asadur Rehman carried the day by bagging 103,581 votes as the PML-N representative whereas Fatyna got 66,960 ballots as independent candidate. The PPP nominee, Syed Qatab Ali Shah, stood third by securing 66,372 votes. The PTI had not sponsored its contestant.
Both the 2008 and the highly rigged 2002 elections were won by Fatyna as the PML-Q cardholder. In the 2008 polls, he bagged 63,444 votes compared to Asadur Rehman’s 59,284 ballots. PPP’s Haider Kharal got 59,348 in a close contest.
In 2002, Fatyna clinched 67,603 ballots as against Asadur Rehman’s 44,942 votes and PPP nominee and former federal information minister Khalid Kharal’s 53,164 votes.On the other hand, Saeed Virk chose to contest for NA-133 Sheikhupura seat as an independent candidate in 2013. He was defeated by PML-N’s Mian Javed Latif, who got 68,909 votes compared to Virk’s 31,520 ballots. The PTI candidate, Abu Bakar Virk, had bagged 25,874 ballots.
In 2008, Virk, as the PML-Q nominee, bagged 28,005 votes and lost to PML-N’s Javed Latif, who secured 44,786 ballots.However, in the 2002 general elections, Virk won by getting 30,105 votes, defeating Munawar Latif of the PML-N, who got 24,869 ballots. Nazir Virk representing Muttahidda Majlis-e-Amal had clinched 14,355 votes.

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