PESHAWAR: Chief of his own faction of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam Maulana Samiul Haq filed his nomination papers for the Senate elections here on Wednesday after getting support of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-backed MPAs.

Disgruntled MPAs Abdul Shakoor Khan of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl and Barrister Sultan Mehmood of the Qaumi Watan Party, who recently joined the PTI, became proposer and seconder of the elderly Maulana from Akora Khattak.

Maulana Sami submitted his nomination papers to the returning officer at the Election Commission office.

Abdul Shakoor confirmed that he and Sultan Mehmood had signed the nomination papers of the JUI-S chief.

PTI hasn’t awarded ticket to JUI-S chief, just provided proposer, seconder for his nomination

“On the directives of Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, I supported the candidature of Maulana sahib and became his proposer,” Mr Shakoor told Dawn.

He said he and Barrister Sultan had quit their respective parties and had been supporting the PTI in and outside the assembly.

Sources in the PTI said the party had not awarded ticket to Maulana Sami but he was given proposer and seconder for filing papers due to his continuous insistence.

A party leader, who wished not to be named, claimed apparently, there were very few chances of Maulana Sami getting PTI support as the ruling party had already announced the names of their candidates for the Senate polls.

Sources in the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam Maulana Samiul Haq said the party had earlier announced electoral alliance with the PTI on the understanding that the latter would award Senate ticket to Maulana Sami in the polls and would also give two tickets for the National Assembly in the coming general elections.

Few days ago, the media reported that the PTI would support the Maulana’s candidature for the Senate elections but the news had attracted criticism from different segments of the society for the reasons that the Maulana was supportive of the Taliban.

Afterward, the PTI’s core committee finalised names of its candidates leaving Maulana Sami out.

Meanwhile, several candidates filed their nomination papers with the returning officer on Wednesday as February 8 will be last date for filing of the papers. Those, who filed papers on behalf of the PTI, include Failsal Javed, Fida Hussain, Muhammad Ayub Afridi and Khail Zaman for general seats, KP Assembly Deputy Speaker Dr Meher Taj Roghani for women seat and Azam Swati and KP Advocate general Abdul Latif Yousafzai for technocrat seat.

Jamaat-i-Islami provincial chief Mushtaq Ahmad Khan also filed his papers.

Awami National Party candidates Masood Abbas Khattak, who is a former state minister, and ex-MPA Shagufta Malik filed nomination papers for general seats and women seats respectively.

KP election commissioner Pir Maqbool Ahmad is the returning officer for Senate polls in the province.

The scrutiny of nomination papers will be completed until Feb 12, whereas the last date of filing appeals against acceptance or rejections of nomination papers is Feb 15.

An appellate tribunal consisting of Justice Mussarat Hilali of the Peshawar High Court will decide appeals until Feb 17, while Feb 19 is the last date for the withdrawal of nomination papers. Polling will take place on March 3.

Published in Dawn, February 8th, 2018

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