LARKANA: The Larkana Awami Ittehad (LAI) met under the chairmanship of its convener Haji Munawwar Ali Abbasi at Kot Waleed town on Tuesday and decided to field its candidates on all national and provincial assembly constituencies in Larkana against Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) candidates.
Leaders of component parties — PPP-Workers (PPP-W) president Dr Safdar Abbasi, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leader Amir Bukhsh Bhutto, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) Sindh general secretary Maulana Nasir Mehmood Soomro and Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) leader Akbar Shah Rashdi — were among those who attended the meeting.
It took stock of the political situation obtaining in the country and evolved a strategy to counter PPP in the next general election. Speaking to Dawn after the meeting, LAI spokesman Moazzim Abbasi disclosed that after an exhausting discussion, it was unanimously decided to field LAI candidates on two national assembly and four Sindh assembly seats in Larkana.
Announcing the names of probable candidates, Mr Abbasi said Maulana Rashid Mehmood Soomro would take on PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, who was likely to contest for NA-200 seat.
He said PPP-W chief Dr Safdar Abbasi and Dado Allah Bukhsh Unnar would file their nomination papers for the NA-201 seat and PTI leader Amir Bukhsh Bhutto (son of Sardar Mumtaz Ali Bhutto) would contest for PS-10 seat.
He said he [Moazzim Abbasi] would contest for PS-11 while Syed Akbar Shah Rashdi and Adil Khan Unnar would be fielded for PS-12 and 13, respectively.
Mr Abbasi described the nominations as “almost final”, adding that a future line of action would be announced at a meeting scheduled for April 19 in Aliabad.
He said LAI would unveil its election strategy at a public meeting which would be held at Otha Chowk, on the outskirts of Larkana city, on Airport Road on April 27.
Unnars’ alliance splits
The Unnar Ittehad, which had emerged recently after prominent political figures of the Unnar community shunned their differences to vote for the same party or candidates for NA-201 and PS-13 constituencies (Bakrani-Dokri), suffered a split when one of its key leaders, Shafqat Hussain Unnar, decided to quit the alliance on Tuesday.
Shafqat Unnar is a member of the central core committee of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf.
Speaking at a press conference in Aliabad, some 15 kilometres from here, he said he had decided to part ways with other leaders (his cousins). “Henceforth, I will have nothing to do with the Unnar Ittehad, which I had joined under pressure,” he said. He explained that he and his cousins had settled the property dispute among them by deciding each one’s share but his cousins did not keep their word.
“Politically our paths are different now,” he said.
Shafqat Unnar recalled that heirs of his father, Haji Ghulam Hussain Unnar, had chose the NA-201 and PS-13 constituencies to contest from. Therefore, he added, he would contest for one of the seats and back a candidate of any political party on the other seat in the next election.
He told reporters that in 2013 and 2014, he fought elections as an independent candidate to keep intact his family’s constituency.
Published in Dawn, April 11th, 2018