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February 18, 2021

PTI’s Malir leaders blame Haleem Adil Sheikh for defeat in PS-88 by-poll

Karachi

February 18, 2021

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leaders from District Malir have held the party’s provincial leadership, particularly Sindh Assembly opposition leader Haleem Adil Sheikh, responsible for the loss in Tuesday’s PS-88 by-poll, and demanded of party supremo Prime Minister Imran Khan, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail and other central leaders to probe the factors behind the humiliating defeat.

Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, the PTI’s recently resigned president, Qadir Bakhsh Kalmati, senior leaders Inayat Khattak and Tariq Baloch, and other office-bearers accused Sheikh of intentionally fielding a weak candidate in PS-88 to ensure the victory of the Pakistan Peoples Party’s candidate.

In the PS-88 by-election, PPP candidate Yousaf Baloch won the constituency by bagging more than 24,000 votes against TLP candidate Syed Kashif Shah, who ranked second after bagging 6,099 votes. PTI candidate Jansher Junejo and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan candidate Sajid Ahmed got 4,870 and 2,634 votes respectively

The constituency had fallen vacant due to the death of PPP MPA and Sindh minister Ghulam Murtaza Baloch from the novel coronavirus infection in June last year. At a presser, Kalmati alleged that Sheikh had used the PTI and its workers for personal gains, and, resultantly, the party’s popularity had been on the decline in the city. “In the 2018 polls, PTI candidate Captain (retd) Muhammad Rizwan ranked second by bagging 16,386, but now when the PPP was in the worst situation because of its bad governance and corruption, PTI candidate Junejo ranked third by gaining around 4,800 votes,” he said.

Kalmati claimed that Junejo was working as a contractor with Ghulam Murtaza Baloch. “Because of an understanding between Sheikh and PPP leaders, Junejo was given the PTI ticket to pave the way for Yousaf Baloch’s victory in the by-poll,” he alleged.

PTI leaders from Malir also criticised the PPP-led Sindh government for “destroying the district”. “Entire cultivation has been destroyed while more than 20,000 acres of land have been occupied in the district, thanks to the provincial government,” he alleged.

In January, Kalmati had resigned from the District Malir president’s post in protest over the awarding of the party ticket to Jansher Junejo for the PS-88 by-poll. He had warned the party’s leadership of a humiliating defeat.

Separately, PTI Karachi president and MPA Khurram Sher Zaman, while talking to the media outside the Malir Court where Sheikh was present, said the PPP had been taking revenge from the parliamentarians of opponent parties and had withdrawn their security. “If there is any loss of life, Bilawal Zardari and Murad Ali Shah will be responsible for it,” he warned.

He said that the media had shown how the election in PS-88 was manipulated, exposing the “PPP’s real face”. Zaman said Sheikh’s fault was that he raised his voice against the corruption of Murad Ali Shah and the Sindh government.

“The PTI’s war against the Sindh government will continue to eradicate corruption of billions of rupees in the province and give rights to the people of Sindh,” he said. PTI Sindh Assembly members Saeed Afridi, Raja Azhar, Ali GG, Shahnawaz Jadoon, Dua Bhutto and a large number of other leaders and workers of the party were present in the court.