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MURREE: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has awarded ticket to Sadaqat Ali Abbasi for NA-57 ignoring Ghulam Mustafa Satti who joined the party after quitting Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

The PTI candidate will contest the election against former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi of the PML-N and Asif Shafiq Satti of the PPP.

Muttahida Majilis-i-Amal (MMA) has not announced its candidate though Sufyan Abbasi, Qari Saifullah Saif and Solat Majeed are the aspirants.

There was a tough contest between Sadaqat Abbasi and Murtaza Satti for the NA ticket.

When Murtaza Satti left the PPP and joined the PTI he was promised that he would be given the NA ticket but finally an old associate and ideologue, Sadaqat Abbasi, was accommodated.

NA-57 comprises Murree, Kahuta, Kotli Sattian and some parts of Kallar town.

Three major tribes dominate the area – Abbasis of Murree, Sattis of Kotli Sattian and Rajas of Kahuta.

The constituency has two provincial assembly seats: PP-6, comprising Murree and Kotli Sattian, and PP-7, consisting of Kahuta and Kallar Syedan.

To muster support of both the clans, it has been a tradition that if a party awards NA ticket to a candidate from Murree it gives the PA ticket to a candidate belonging to Kotli Sattian.

The PTI awarded the PA ticket to retired Maj Latasab Satti who is from Kotli Sattian and was previously associated with the PML-Q.

Former Murree town nazim Sardar Saleem Khan was considered a favourite candidate.

But the PTI awarded tickets to those associated with the party since long and ignored both the ‘electables’ – Murtaza Satti and Sardar Saleem.

Murtaza Satti was a UC nazim from the PML-Q when the PPP awarded him ticket for the NA seat in 2002.

He defeated Shahid Khaqan Abbasi but later left the PPP and joined the PTI.

His close associates had been claiming that he joined the PTI on the condition that he would be allotted the NA ticket.

Being popular among the youth, Sadaqat Abbasi may give a tough time to the former prime minister but only if Murtaza Satti supports the PTI candidate as he has some influence in Kahuta.

Raja Ishfaq Sarwar would be the PML-N candidate for the PA seat.

Sardar Saleem may contest as an independent as he had won the town nazim election as an independent candidate in the past.

The PPP awarded the NA ticket to Asif Shafiq Satti from Kotli Sattian and the PA ticket to a relatively less known candidate Sajjad Abbasi, brother of TV anchor Kashif Abbasi, by ignoring a strong candidate, Nazir Abbasi Advocate, who had been the PPP tehsil president for 15 years.

PPP office-bearers from Murree and Kotli Sattian union councils have protested the party decision.

By and large, workers of all parties are satisfied with the allocation of tickets for the NA seat but resentment prevails among the PPP and PTI workers over the choice of the candidates for the PA seats. Sajjaad Abbasi of Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) has been awarded ticket by the MMA for the PA ticket.

Published in Dawn, June 10th, 2018