PTI Vice President Shah Mehmood Qureshi. — File Photo

ISLAMABAD, April 14: Most of the Tehreek-i-Insaf leaders are against allowing their vice chairman, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, to contest election from two constituencies in Sindh as an independent candidate, according to PTI sources.

Although Mr Qureshi at a recent press conference claimed that PTI chief Imran Khan was very much on board about his decision to file nomination papers for NA 228 and NA 230 as an independent candidate, the party has yet to make a formal announcement on the move.

Shafqat Mahmood, a PTI spokesman, only said the decision was part of a special arrangement for contesting elections in Sindh. He parried a question whether other party leaders or ticket holders would be afforded a similar generosity by the leadership.

When confronted with a similar question earlier this month in Karachi, Imran Khan failed to justify the reason for allowing Mr Qureshi to go solo in Sindh. Instead, he said it wasn’t a serious issue; after all he was vice chairman of the party. “Even if Mr Qureshi contests the election on a party ticket or independently, the seat will remain with the PTI,” Mr Khan was quoted as saying.

“A majority of us are not happy with Mr Qureshi’s decision to contest the election as an independent candidate,” said a senior party leader who is also member of the PTI’s board entrusted with the task of awarding party tickets.

“What a paradox that Mr Qureshi had announced his decision to join the PTI at a massive rally in Sindh on Nov 27 last year and now he is contesting the election from the province as an independent candidate,” said the leader.

“The move will definitely not send a good message to voters and PTI activists who are working day and night for a much-needed change in the country,” he added.

Talking to Dawn, a party member said the matter had been taken up at meetings in Islamabad in which Mr Khan preferred to keep quiet instead of defending Mr Qureshi’s decision.

The party’s media wing, which otherwise has been forthcoming in replying to journalists’ questions, is in a quandary over the matter. “Yes, we find ourselves in an awkward position when media personnel ask questions about Mr Qureshi’s decision,” the party official added.

One plausible explanation given by a PTI leader about the decision was local dynamics in the two Sindh constituencies. The PML-Functional chief, Sibghatullah Shah Rashidi (Pir Pagara), was willing to support Mr Qureshi only if he joined the former’s political alliance in Sindh against the PPP, the PTI leader said.

The PTI has announced that it will not be part of any political alliance and contest the elections alone. The party might have opted for a seat adjustment with the PML-F, but it was not possible because of the latter’s alliance with the PML-N. “This is the only explanation which Mr Qureshi can offer to his party colleagues, although the PTI has yet to clarify the mystery in so many words in the media,” the official said.

Another explanation is that because of the tough competition in NA 148, Multan, his home constituency, Mr Qureshi does not want to take any risk and has decided to contest the election from the Sindh constituencies where he has followers of his ancestors and the PML-F’s support can earn him an NA seat.

More From This Section

Militants attacked after soldier hurt in blast

Helicopter gunships attacked militant hideouts in North Waziristan after a security man was injured in an explosion.

Sharif, Zardari meet today

The two are meeting against the backdrop of the tensions between the civilian and military leaderships.

Amount of unpaid power bills increases to Rs286bn

Power companies blame poor governance of power sector for the fresh build-up of unpaid bills known as circular debt.

Govt inaction on FC men’s court martial irks SC

Court asks Deputy Attorney General to get in touch with the defence ministry and submit a report.

Comments are closed.

Comments (17)

Syed M Ahmed
April 15, 2013 4:50 am
PTI Jiyalas, let it be. Trust your leader and trust Shah Mahmood Qureshi and as for giving the same dispensation to any other PTI leader to run independently from Sind or from Baluchistan, sure go ahead, try your luck.
April 15, 2013 5:12 am
I only trust Imran. Shah Mahmood needs to prove himself that he's willing to be different otherwise its just political talk.... He better back up his words.
Aun Ali Motani
April 15, 2013 5:31 am
What I know that PTI leadership understands well the politics and current needs to save the country from crises than me. So I cant challenge their decision sitting on my desk. I fully support and request all to same and have faith in the leadership for only one goal and that is Pakistan!!
FJ Siddiqui
April 15, 2013 5:40 am
Ideally PTI Vice president should be on PTI ticket. However, if no party policy is violated and even more important not moral value ignored then for strategic reasons this can be swallowed. Go ahead PTI we are with you!
April 15, 2013 6:12 am
A very smart move, strategically planned, to counter PPP's stronghold.
Saleem Ijaz
April 15, 2013 6:14 am
Appeal! We the Pakistani's working abroad can focus on Pakistan much better than the Pakistani,s in Pakistan.As an impartial Pakistani I request to all of Pakistanis especially the educated ones to awake & don't sleep anymore,Participate in election & try to convince uneducated brothers/Sisters to do be with Imran Khan & his party as currently Imran Khan is the only hope of Pakistan.Almighty Allah may give us guidance Amin. .
Adnan Ali
April 15, 2013 6:21 am
yeah sure! our ultimate goal is to save Pakistan, If it is necessary for that we all should accept and support this decision..........
Nasr KiKi
April 15, 2013 6:25 am
This move speaks lack of trust on the part of SMQ in PTI
April 15, 2013 9:23 am
I agree
Junaid Hahsmat
April 15, 2013 10:58 am
Supoort IK and PTI..! :)
April 15, 2013 11:50 am
PTI leaders are full of cheating and fraud, How smartly they are be-fooling innocent youth.
Matin Khan
April 15, 2013 1:23 pm
I love PTI. If Imran has given him a green signal to contest as 'Independant' I fully endorse.
April 15, 2013 2:16 pm
I had always my reservations about Mahmood Qureshi. After all much of his political career was attached to PPP and one cannot get out of him "opportunisim" behaviour. I am sure Imran Khan must be having difficult time dealing with Mr Qureshi. Anyway, although being a clean man Imran Khan has to swollow some bitter pills. Once he is given strength by the people he can well deal with such people afterwards and in the next election, in particular. Imran Khan must get on power once at least.
April 15, 2013 2:22 pm
This is a nice Move. Only PTI can come up with this strategic decisions. Haters keep hating.
syed ejaz hussain (@syed1214ejaz)
April 15, 2013 5:45 pm
mr qurashi this not fair decision when u r in pti so wy u hesitating to paticipate in election openly on pti plate form and it will not set a good example for ur other party mates
April 16, 2013 4:10 am
@ Hassan - YES. The TRUE and FAIR leaders of this country are Zardari, Sharifs, Altaf, Asfandyar and many more. They have been serving the people for so long withou ever getting involved in corruption and dirty politics.
April 16, 2013 10:12 am
Once IK is in power he will have the power to weed out the bad apples from the party. To initiate the "clean up process" of the old corrupted politicians (which no doubt there are in PTI too). It takes one honest person at the top (IK) for the effect to trickle down. It will not happen over night but it will come, Inshallah.
Explore: Indian elections 2014
Explore: Indian elections 2014
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
From The Newspaper