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June 23, 2018

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PTI infighting now in open

MULTAN: PTI’s senior leaders Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Jehangir Tareen on Friday exchanged allegations, severely criticising each other, as the allotment of tickets has become a serious issue for the party leadership.

Qureshi criticised Tareen without naming him and said he did not consider Tareen a competitor since he could not contest the polls, adding that he only believed in competing with others in the political arena.

"My competition is in the political arena and a person who cannot even contest the election, who is not part of the game, is not my competitor," the PTI leader said. "I am not insane to compete with Tareen."

He said Sikandar Hayat Bosan was part of Nawaz Sharif’s cabinet till May 30 but some PTI leaders [Tareen] advocated for allotting a party ticket to him.

Talking to journalists in response to the allegations levelled by Tareen, he said those who brought Bosan in the party and arranged his meetings, should demonstrate moral courage and face the PTI workers.

Qureshi said Bosan joined the PTI by his free will in 2013 but he rejoined the PML-N just a few days before the general elections held that year. “PTI Chairman Imran Khan knows better after assessing both sides of the picture and he would soon finalise ticket for NA-154.”

The PTI vice-chairman said the impression that he had decided party tickets wasn’t true, adding that he did not decide party tickets for the women reserved seats and Imran was the only competent authority to make the final decision.

Earlier, Tareen criticised Qureshi, saying he should first address the reservations against him before levelling allegations, as he deplored the injustice being done against the PTI women activists in south Punjab in allotment of party tickets. He said Qureshi didn’t even deserve a reply.

Addressing a press conference at the residence of ex-MNA Nawab Hayatullah Tareen at Dunyapur, he said the members of election board had given an oath to Imran for not disclosing the PTI’s internal discussion to the public. “If someone is violating that oath, he will be answerable to the party,” he said.

Responding to Qureshi’s press conference held in the morning in which he claimed that Tareen has no role in politics and was out of the election game after his disqualification, Tareen said he was playing his role for the party and he did not need any office. “I am working in the capacity of a party worker.”

He said PTI south Punjab general secretary Aoun Abbas Bappi had expressed serious reservations over allotment of party tickets in Multan and held Qureshi responsible for the injustice. “Qureshi should remove the reservations of Bappi and needs to sit together with his district party office bearers,” he added.

The PTI leader said he was struggling for Imran to induct him as a prime minister, adding that the party chairman was making efforts to accommodate maximum party workers in allotment of tickets. “I have reservations over the procedure adopted for the allotment of party tickets to the women on reserved seats. It was decided in the party to distribute party tickets to women on the reserved seats region-wise but the agreed procedure was not followed,” he added.

He said the PTI was making efforts to address the past mistakes, adding that more women would be accommodated on reserved seats after winning maximum slots in the general elections.

Tareen said the PTI would not allow rigging in general elections and welcomed deployment of army troops in and outside the polling stations. He said a large number of the PML-N’s winning horses had joined the PTI, indicating cracks in its ranks. He predicted fall of more wickets in the coming days.

The tirade between the two senior leaders started with a press conference held on Friday morning by Qureshi who said the party tickets were allotted on merit according to the fixed criteria for eligibility.

Qureshi tried to calm down Bappi, saying he criticised the party decision which was his democratic right. “Bappi is like my son as he expressed strong reservations on allotment of party tickets but the party leadership has decided purely on merit. The allotment of party tickets has been under criticism, which is illogical and unfair,” he said.

Imran had constituted a board for distribution of party tickets and he was one of the members, he clarified and added that the PTI election board had set a criterion for allotment of party tickets to the aspirants.

Qureshi said the PTI had received more than 4,500 applications from Multan for party tickets. Bappi had intimated the leadership in the past that he was interested in getting the party office rather contesting the election, but submitted application from NA-155 Multan-III where he had no work for the party, he added.

Qureshi said Multan district PTI president Ijaz Hussain Janjua contributed more to the party than Bappi, adding that even the services of party workers – Munawar Qureshi, Wasim Khan Badozai, Moeen Qureshi and ex-PTI MPA Javed Ansari – were greater than Bappi.

Qureshi said he did not violate the party discipline and contradicted the reports of advocating allotment of party ticket to Bosan from NA-154 Multan-I, saying he had no contact with him since long.

He said the stance of Nazir Jutt and his reservations on allotment of party ticket was his personal view. “This is the time for sacrifices to ensure Imran Khan becomes a prime minister,” he added.

To a query, he said the seat adjustment with Jamshed Dasti was decided by Imran purely on merit. Earlier, Bappi at a press conference criticised Qureshi for allotting the party tickets to his family members and near and dear ones and said the PTI had ignored the workers who were deeply committed to the party.

“If Imran Khan allots party tickets to candidates based on personal relationship with some PTI leaders then the disappointed workers would not come out of their homes on July 25. Some PTI leaders have misguided Imran,” he said.

He expressed serious reservations on the nepotism policy of PTI vice-chairman, saying he not only allocated party ticket for himself from NA-156 Multan-III but also for the MPA slot and one ticket for his son Zain Qureshi from NA-157 Multan-IV.

Qureshi allocated ticket to his close aide Ami Dogar from NA-155 Multan-III and another ticket for his nephew from Mian Channu purely on the basis of personal relations, he alleged.

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