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February 15, 2021

Rift in PTI Sindh over award of Senate tickets to Vawda, Abro

National

February 15, 2021

KARACHI: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Sindh chapter is facing a severe rift after the party leadership finalised Federal Minister Faisal Vawda and wealthy construction contractor Saifullah Abro for the Senate from the province.

The party’s decision has generated criticism from its key leaders from three zones of rural Sindh who on Sunday wrote a letter to Governor Sindh Imran Ismail to show their anger and demand the party's high command to take back tickets from Vawda and Abro.

Encouraged by the PTI’s recent decision to withdraw the party ticket awarded to business tycoon Abdul Qadir in Balochistan for the Senate election after opposition from the party’s provincial leadership, the Sindh leaders have also initiated a campaign to pressurise the party’s parliamentary committee to review its decision of allocating tickets.

In a letter, the PTI’s office-bearers from three regions said that they were “extremely disappointed with the entire process” of the selection of party’s candidates for the Senate polls from the province.

The leaders who signed the letter included Sadaqat Ali Jatoi [who is also the brother of former Sindh chief minister Liaquat Jatoi], Sukkur district president Mubeen Jatoi, Allah Bux Unnar and Raja Khan Jhakrani, former provincial secretary general Mehfooz Usrani, a former candidate from NA-214 Shaheed Benazirabad Gul Muhammad Rind, former provincial minister Agha Taimoor Khan Pathan, Papu Khan Chachar and other office-bearers.

The PTI leaders asked the party leadership not to consider Vawda as a candidate for the Senate. “If he is deseated from his National Assembly seat, the party should nominate him from the constituency. If he is disqualified and not allowed to contest, the party will risk a seat which will make no sense.”

Showing severe concerns over finalising Abro, a wealthy construction contractor, for the Senate on technocrat seat, the PTI leaders asked how the Senate ticket was given to a newcomer in the party.

They alleged that cases against Abro, who has still been working closely with the Pakistan People’s Party leadership and famed as an ATM Machine, have been pending in the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). The PTI leaders from rural Sindh asked to review the allocation of the Senate tickets from Sindh and said that the decision will harm the party in the upcoming local government polls.

However, a senior PTI leader from Sindh told The News that awarding a ticket to Abro was the party’s strategy to stop its MPAs from selling their votes to the PPP’s candidates in the Senate polls as the party was fearful that the ruling party in the province may buy at least 10 out of its 30 members in the provincial assembly. “Abro is a billionaire construction contractor and he will not only stop the PTI MPAs from selling their votes but can also buy the votes of PPP to win on technocrat seats,” the party leader, who requested anonymity, told The News.

Because of his close relations to the PPP’s central leadership, Abro was among the aspirants to get a ticket for PS-8, a provincial assembly seat from Larkana, in the 2018 general polls, according to sources. After the PPP awarded a ticket to Sohail Anwar Sial, he contested the election as an independent candidate and ranked third by securing 8,800 votes. PPP’s candidate Sohail Anwar had won the polls by bagging 48,997 votes. In December 2018, he joined the PTI.