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LARKANA, May 1: PML-N leader Mumtaz Ali Bhutto will support a disgruntled PPP old-timer, Haji Munwwar Ali Abbasi, his son Moazzim Ali and a vocal PPP dissident Dr Safdar Ali Abbasi to further tighten the noose round the necks of PPP candidates for NA-204 (Larkana-I), NA-205 (Larkana-II) and PS-38 (Larkana-IV), say reliable sources.

The sources close to the Bhutto told Dawn on Wednesday that Dr Safdar, former political secretary to Benazir Bhutto, had had a detailed meeting with Mr Bhutto in Mirpur Bhutto village on Monday in which Mr Bhutto decided to support the Abbasis. The Abbasis would in turn lend support to Ghinwa Bhutto, chairperson of PPP-Shaheed Bhutto on NA-207 (Larkana-III) against Faryal Talpur of the PPP, said the sources.

The sources said that Dr Safdar who was also in the run for PS-36 (Larkana-II) against Rizwan Kehar of PML-N would now support Rizwan to ensure he was able to dislodge PPP’s Nisar Ahmed Khuhro.

The Abbasis, in defiance to the party’s decision not to award ticket to former PPP MPA Munwwar Abbasi, had filed papers against PPP candidates, Ayaz Soomro (NA-204), Nazeer Ahmed Bughio (NA-205) and Khursheed Junejo (PS-38). The decision had prompted Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Nisar Ahmed Khuhro and other senior leaders to rush to Abbasis’ residence in Waleed area and dissuade them from the damaging decision but they refused to budge.

In another setback to the PPP, Haji Altaf Unnar, PPP ticket-holder for PS-35 tried to convince Agha Siraj Durrani in Garhi Yaseen on Wednesday about strong chances of his son Adil Altaf’s victory in polls for PS-41 (Larkana-VII) as an independent candidate against PPP’s Aziz Jatoi, a former MPA.

Sources close to Mr Unnar said that Mr Durrani, Ayaz Soomro, Nazeer Ahmed Bughio, Hizbullah Bughio, Aziz Jatoi and others had visited Aliabad, native village of Unnars, on Tuesday to convince him to ask his son to withdraw from contest for PS-41 and use influence over his nephew Ghulam Umar Unnar to pull out of contest for NA-204 (Larkana-I) against PPP’s Ayaz Soomro.

The PPP leaders had to return that day because Unnar was not present in the village at that time. In Wednesday’s meeting, Unnar told Durrani that he had no control over his nephew so he was unable to ask him to withdraw in favour of PPP’s Ayaz Soomro. However, he said, his son was in a position to get a comfortable victory on PS-41 (Larkana-VII) against PPP’s candidate Aziz Jatoi, said the sources.

Mr Bhutto’s support for PPP rivals and Unnars have put the PPP decision-makers in a fix as the party found it difficult at this juncture to withdraw ticket from Mr Unnar who had been awarded arrow as election symbol, said the sources.