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September 1, 2018

PTI leaders get party tickets for brothers, sons to contest by-elections


September 1, 2018

PESHAWAR: As expected, some of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders who won more than one assembly seat have reportedly managed to get the party tickets for their brothers or sons to contest the by-elections. Former Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister Pervez Khattak has fielded his brother Liaqat Khattak and son Ibrahim Khattak to contest the by-election from Nowshera district on the two provincial assembly seats that he has vacated.

Pervez Khattak, who is now the federal defence minister, kept the National Assembly seat that he also won in the July 25 general election. If his brother and son win the by-election, Pervez Khattak would have laid the foundation of apparently Pakistan's biggest political dynasty. Already, his son-in-law Dr Imran Khattak is the elected PTI MNA from Nowshera.

The other National Assembly seat is held by Pervez Khattak. Two close relatives of Pervez Khattak were elected MNAs on the PTI ticket on seats reserved for women. At present, Pervez Khattak's brother Liaqat Khattak is the Nowshera District Nazim. One of his nephews is Tehsil Nazim in Nowshera. Once Liaqat Khattak and Ibrahim Khattak win the provincial assembly seats in the by-elections, one of them will most likely be included in the provincial cabinet.

Another PTI stalwart Asad Qaiser, the former KP Assembly Speaker who is now the National Assembly Speaker, has reportedly manoeuvred to get the party ticket for his brother Aqibullah to contest the bypolls on the provincial assembly seat vacated by him in Swabi. Asad Qaiser kept his National Assembly seat.

After the 2013 general election, Asad Qaiser had won a National Assembly and a KP Assembly seat from Swabi. On that occasion, he gave up his National Assembly seat and got his same younger brother, Aqibullah, elected as MNA after managing to get him the PTI ticket.

For the by-election on PK-97 Dera Ismail Khan, former provincial minister Ali Amin Gandapur has lobbied and reportedly got the PTI ticket for his brother Faisal Amin to contest the by-election on the KP Assembly seat vacated by him. Ali Amin Gandapur has kept his National Assembly seat that he also won in the recent general election by defeating Maulana Fazlur Rahman.

For the PK-3 Swat constituency, Chief Minister Mahmood Khan's brother Ahmad Khan is also a candidate, though sources said that a PTI activist Sajid Ali has better chances of getting the party ticket to contest the by-election. The KP Assembly seat, PK-3 Swat has been vacated by Dr Haider Ali, who had also won the National Assembly seat and has kept it.

In the by-election on PK-7 Swat, which has been vacated by Dr Amjad Ali who won two provincial assembly seats, one of the leading aspirants for the PTI ticket is Haji Fazal Maula. He is a relative of PTI MNA Murad Saeed, who retained his National Assembly seat from Swat in the recent polls. Two other PTI activists, including the party's coordinator for Malakand division, Mohammad Rehman and Saeed Khan, are also vying for the party ticket to contest the bypolls.

For the by-election on PK-99 Dera Ismail Khan on which polling was postponed when PTI candidate Sardar Ikramullah Gandapur was martyred in a suicide bombing, his son Sardar Aghaz Khan has been given the party ticket to contest the election. Ikramullah Gandapur was a provincial minister in the previous PTI government. His younger brother Sardar Israrullah Gandapur, who was also a provincial minister, too was martyred in a suicide attack.

In the by-election on National Assembly constituency, NA-35 Bannu, the PTI has awarded the ticket to Malik Nasir Khan, once a Pakistan hockey team member and also a former lawmaker. The NA-35 Bannu was won by PTI Chairman Imran Khan, who defeated former KP chief minister Akram Khan Durrani fielded by the MMA. Akram Durrani's son will be contesting the by-election on the MMA ticket, though he will also be supported by other opposition parties.

As Shah Farman is also vacating his provincial assembly seat in Peshawar after being nominated as the Governor of KP, there are reports that he too is trying to get the PTI ticket for one of his brothers.

Imran Khan had campaigned vigorously all these years against the political dynasties in Pakistan, particularly those built by the Bhuttos Zardaris and Sharifs, but it seems he is helpless in stopping his party leaders from consolidating their own dynasties.

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