MURREE, April 24: Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) has returned to the contest in NA-50 after the larger bench of Lahore High Court (LHC) allowed its candidate, Murtaza Satti, to contest election from this constituency.
Due to the division of votes among right wing parties and those aligned with the Abbasi clan, the PPP felt it was in a strong position.
But, a local voter filed objections against Murtaza Satti, saying that he was a government servant, serving as adviser in an Infrastructure Project Development Fund (IPDF), a subordinate department within the Ministry of Finance.
This objection was filed on behalf of PML-N candidate Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, and was subsequently accepted by the returning officer, who disqualified Murtaza Satti.
This news perturbed PPP workers and supporters who believed their party would easily win this election after the division of the Abbasi vote-bank among Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) and Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) candidates.
Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) has nominated its National Assembly candidate Sadaqat Abbasi from Murree Tehsil. It is a general perception that what ever number of votes PTI candidate obtained, it would benefit PPP.
On the other hand, PPP candidate Ghulam Murtaza Satti, a resident of Kahuta Town, he has support of the local vote-bank against the Abbasis of Murree.
He is from Satti clan that is mostly located in Kotli Sattian.
Sattis are also residing in the southern union councils of Murree and some northern union councils of Kahuta town, largely supporting Murtaza Satti.
After the rejection of his papers by RO, the firm hopes of victory of his supporters were badly eclipsed.
He appealed in the election tribunal, but they also rejected his plea.
Then he filed a petition in LHC, and a larger bench of LHC allowed him to contest the election.
His lawyers argued in the court that he has not taken any salary from IPDF during his four years stay in the department quoting the precedent of Ishaq Dar of PML-N, who was chairman Pakistan Investment Board, and enjoyed several perks and privileges.
Larger bench of LHC accepted his plea and allowed him to run for the election, but eleven precious days of his campaign were lost in the saga, and improving the playing field for his opponents.
He said that despite this discriminatory campaign to defame PPP and its candidate, the party would still be victorious in the upcoming election.
Another supporter of PPP Master Naseer Abbasi said that PPP must file a defamation case against Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and others for defaming PPP.
Time has proved that the objection has no substance and was based on ill will to damage PPP in the area.