DERA GHAZI KHAN: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has got the upper hand in the Rajanpur district after most of the electables, including those from the tribal areas, joined it.

In Dera Ghazi Khan, the PML-N is still holding the power and strength as its leaders, including MNAs and adistrict is still in confusion in taking decision regarding the award of its tickets as a matter of inclusion of former Chief Minister Dost Muhammad Khosa and his group is still under discussion, the PTI sources claim. There is a difference of opinion in the old guards of the party in the district regarding the new entries.

The elders of Mazari, Dreshak and Leghari tribes who represented the area under different banners in almost all the previous elections have joined the PTI. They include veteran politician Mir Balakh Sher Mazari and his group, Nasrullah Dreshak and his sons, Jaffar Leghari, Begum Jaffar Leghari and Mohsin Leghari.

However, Gorchani tribe elder Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Sher Ali Gorchani, MNA Hafeez Khan Dreshak, Tariq Khan Dreshak and MPA Atif Mazari are sticking to the PML-N, expressing the resolve to stay with the party through thick and thin.

Chief of Leghari tribe, PML-N MPA Jamal Khan claimed he would contest on a PML-N ticket while district council chairman Abdul Qadir Khosa, son of PML-N MNA Amjad Farooq Khosa, who was sitting beside the Jamal Khan Leghari, said the PML-N leaders in the area would remain united in any circumstances.

MPA Aleem Shah said he and the rest of parliamentary group of the PML-N of Dera Ghazi Khan district, Mir Badshah Qaisrani, Amjad Farooq Khosa, Jamal Khan Leghari, Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari, Mahmood Qadir Leghari and Javed Ahmed Lound had applied for the tickets of the PML-N.

When this correspondent contacted Qaisrani tribe chief former MPA Mir Badshah Qaisrani of the PML-N, he claimed the party would give a surprise on NA-189 by launching a very potent new candidate in the election.

The local political pundits think there is still a chance of change in political parliamentary map of both districts of Rajanpur and Dera Ghazi Khan as some PML-N candidates could contest as independent candidates, instead of joining the crowded PTI.

It is pertinent to mention that Dera Ghazi Khan consists of 189,190,191,192 constituencies of the National Assembly while 285, 286, 287, 288, 289, 290, 291, 192 of the provincial assembly under the new delimitation.

Published in Dawn, May 27th, 2018