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February 6, 2015

Fauzia Kasuri campaigns in KP for Senate election ticket


February 6, 2015

PESHAWAR: Fauzia Kasuri is a frequent visitor to the provincial capital nowadays as she seems determined to seek the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf ticket for contesting the forthcoming election to the Senate from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
However, the biggest impediment for her to reach the Upper House of Parliament is the fact that she doesn’t belong to KP. The PTI Chairman Imran Khan has made it clear that the party ticket for the Senate polls would be given to candidates hailing from KP where the PTI has been in power since winning the May 2013 general election. In fact, the PTI isn’t contesting the Senate election from the other three provinces as its lawmakers have resigned from there and even otherwise it had no realistic chance of winning any seat except in KP.
Fauzia Kasuri, on the other hand, maintained that she was a registered voter from Abbottabad and was, therefore, qualified to contest the Senate polls from KP.
“I have been working in KP for the last one year as I wanted to contest the Senate election for women’s reserved seats from the province. I have been frequently coming to Peshawar and spent two days in the city recently and would be back in a day or two,” she told The News on the phone.
When reminded that she wasn’t a permanent resident of KP and could be denied the PTI ticket for being an outsider, she reminded that Asad Umar was living in Karachi but was given the party ticket to contest the National Assembly election from Islamabad. “Our party colleague Nafisa Khattak lives in Islamabad but she was elected MNA on the women’s quota from KP. Ayesha Gulalai belongs to Fata but still she was elected MNA as the PTI candidate from KP,” she argued. “Why should this argument of being an outsider become relevant in my case?” she asked.
According to Fauzia Kasuri, she had been with Imran Khan and the PTI for 18 long years and was part of every party campaign and activity. “I am seeking justice as I deserve the

party ticket,” she maintained.
She claimed the female PTI MPAs in the province were standing by her and a number of male lawmakers had also assured her of support in the Senate polls. “I want to contest for Senate as the PTI candidate and not as an independent as some party leaders have suggested,” she stressed.
When told that PTI’s female activists from KP including the Peshawar district president Rabia Basri, Women Commission head Neelam Toru, Asmat Khattak and Farzana Zain were also aspiring for the party ticket to contest the Senate election, Fauzia Kasuri said she had brought most of them into the party and was seeking their support for her candidature. “Rabia Basri has withdrawn in my favour. Neelam Toru may not contest eventually,” she said confidently.
However, a source close to Rabia Basri told The News that she hasn’t pulled out of the race for the PTI ticket in favour of Fauzia Kasuri. “In fact, the PTI Peshawar district unit met under the chairmanship of Yasin Khalil, MPA, on Wednesday and unanimously recommended Rabia Basri for allotment of the party ticket to contest the Senate polls. They wanted Peshawar to be given representation in the Senate as it has no female representative in the National Assembly or provincial assembly,” the source added.
Fauzia Kasuri had quit the PTI once after being denied the opportunity to be elected MNA on the seats reserved for women. The PTI leadership is facing a difficult situation as giving her the PTI ticket for contesting the Senate election from KP would annoy the aspirants from the province and denying her would provoke her.

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