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MUZAFFARGARH: Former PPP parliamentarian and former federal minister Sardar Abdul Qayyum Jatoi has left the PPP and now he and his son Dawood Jatoi will contest elections as independent candidates.

Mr Jatoi, who had recently affirmed his allegiance to the PPP in meetings with PPP co-chairperson Asif Zardari and former prime minister Yousuf Gilani, said he remained with the PPP in its difficult days but this time he would contest election as independent candidate for a Punjab Province (PP) seat while his son will contest election for NA-185.

Qayyum Jatoi has been in the PPP since 1990s and in 2002, he was among few those who became MNA from PPP in south Punjab. In 2005, he became district nazim and in 2008 he became MNA. In 2008, his brother-in-law Moazzam Jatoi also became MNA.

To contest independently for provincial seat; his son from NA-185

The party made first Qayyum Jatoi as MNA, and when his controversial remarks against the judiciary forced him to leave the ministry, the party made Moazzam a state minister.

Moazzam was the first to ditch the party and he joined the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) two years ago. At that time, Qayyum had announced standing by the party and teaching a lesson to Moazzam in the election. Now, he has pitched his son, Dawood, against Moazzam, but as an independent candidate for NA-185.

Now, the PPP has to find suitable candidates for NA-185 and NA-186.

The PTI has yet to announce its candidates for NA-182 and NA-183. Former PML-N MPA Zeeshan Gurmani, who joined the PTI through the merger of the Janubi Punjab Sooba Mahaz, is hopeful of getting the PTI ticket for NA-183.

Former MNA Jamshed Dasti, however, claimed that he was into talks with the PTI and soon both seats would be declared for Pakistan Awami Raj candidates.

Out of six NA seats, the PTI has awarded tickets to Mustafa Khar (NA-181), Syed Basit Sultan Bukhari (NA-184), Moazam Jatoi (NA-185) and Amir Talal Gopang (NA-186).

Published in Dawn, June 10th, 2018