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November 11, 2015

In LG polls, PTI, PPP and PML-N face the enemies within

Karachi

November 11, 2015

Karachi
Three political parties - the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, the Pakistan People’s Party and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz - are having a tough time at the hands of their dissenter leaders, who are contesting independently against their parties’ candidates in the upcoming local government elections.
Interviews with political leaders and analysts suggest that disgruntled activists' decision to contest against their own parties’ nominees had split the parties’ vote banks and given an edge to their rivals.
Jamil Khan, a PTI leader in Keamari, said he was recommended by the party’s board in the area for a ticket to contest the poll. However, he added, when he was denied a ticket by the party under pressure from his rival panel, he decided to run as an independent candidate in UC-43 of the West district.
Now Khan’s panel is contesting against the PTI panel, which comprises Khurshid Anwar and Subhan Ali Sahil as candidates for the seats of the chairperson and the vice-chairperson, respectively.
“Even Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister Pervez Khattak spoke with me on the phone to convince me to not contest the polls against the party’s panel. But the party activists in the constituency have compelled us to do so,” he added.
Khan is among several disgruntled leaders, who are contesting the polls against their party candidates in different areas of the city.
A tug-of-war in the party also caused a delay in the awarding of the tickets.
Ashraf Qureshi, a former PTI Karachi president, has formed the “Imran Tiger Panel” for the local government elections.
Qureshi, while speaking at the Karachi Press Club on Tuesday, said the PTI Sindh and Karachi heads, Arif Alvi and Ali Zaidi respectively, had sold the party to the Jamaat-e-Islami in the local government polls.
“We have fielded over 100 candidates in different parts of the city and asked people to vote the independent candidates of the Imran Tiger Panel

instead of the PTI candidates,” he added.
The PPP, the ruling party in Sindh, is also facing the same dilemma. A number of rebel candidates are contesting the polls against their own colleagues.
In Lyari and Kemari, many PPP activists have refused to accept party tickets and are contesting the polls as independent candidates.
In the Malir district, disgruntled PPP leaders Yousaf Jadoon and Asal Jan Marwat are contesting independently against the party’s candidates in UC-2 Muslimabad and UC-3 Muzaffarabad.
“Instead of assessing their candidate’s position in each union council of the city, the party leadership awarded tickets on the basis of favouritism,” said a PPP activist.
The PPP youth wing in Malir organised a protest against the party’s district president, Raja Abdul Razzaq for practicing favouritism in the awarding of tickets.
The PML-N too is facing similar same issues. Naeem Kamran, the party’s general secretary in Malir, is running against the party’s PS-128 president Umer Swati. In Keamari, another dissident, Ghulam Haider Doli, is up against PML-N ticket holder candidate Asif Khan, younger brother of Humayoon Khan. Similarly, in District Council, state minister Abdul Hakeem Baloch and MPA Hafi Shafi Jamot have fielded independent candidates.
The leaders of the three parties in the city have offered several incentives to the rebel candidates for withdrawing their candidatures against their colleagues. The incentives include adjusting the rebel candidates on reserved seats, making them members of various district-level government bodies, and money too.
Wakeelur Rehman, a political reporter working with an Urdu daily, said the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and the JI were the only two parties wherein discipline was maintained and no differences emerged over the allotment of tickets for the local government polls
The rebel candidates of the PPP, the PTI, and the PML-N are likely to dent their parties vote banks and help their rival parties in winning the seats,” he noted.
A PPP Karachi leader, requesting anonymity, said the party’s city leadership was unable to take strict against the rebels for not obeying its decision. “We are facing a tough situation wherein we are forced to work more against our rebel colleagues than the rival parties,” he added.

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