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ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has decided to take disciplinary action against all the party dissidents who have not withdrawn their nomination papers despite refusal of party tickets to them.

According to an announcement made by the party through its Central Media Department here on Tuesday, the PTI leadership has constituted a two-member committee to take action against the dissidents.

It said the names of all those party members who had applied for party tickets and were still contesting the election independently after not getting the tickets were being compiled and would be sent to the committee comprising former PTI spokesman Naeemul Haq and Arshad Dad.

Dissidents contesting polls as independent candidates after being denied PTI tickets

The committee has been directed to immediately initiate action against the violators of discipline and report back to the party’s chairman.

There are a number of constituencies across the country where the PTI members have announced that they will contest the election as independent candidates, alleging that the party leadership has not given tickets on merit.

Interestingly, the PTI leadership had asked the ticket applicants to submit an affidavit with their application stating on oath that they would not contest the election as independent candidates if they did not get the party tickets.

The PTI believes that those contesting the elections independently are not only violating their oath and party discipline, but are also violating Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution as they could not be called ‘Sadiq and Amin’ after violating their oath.

Thousands of party workers and members had staged a sit-in outside Imran Khan’s Banigala residence to register their protest against the leadership’s decision of awarding tickets mostly to newcomers in the party.

Rejecting the demand that only long-time party workers should be given tickets for the elections, Mr Khan declared that winning the polls was the top priority of his party and that this was possible only through electable candidates.

He had clarified that the party had received as many as 4,500 applications for tickets, whereas they were to decide about nearly 700 tickets and it was not possible to accommodate all the applicants.

After receiving reports of resentment within the party ranks, Mr Khan had also constituted reconciliation committees and announced that he would review the decision after receiving petitions. Later, the party also changed some of the candidates.

Addressing a workers’ convention in Islamabad last week, Mr Khan had advised that the committed and ideological workers should wait for the time when there would be PTI’s government in the country. He said the ideological party workers could be adjusted by the parties when they acquired power.

Published in Dawn, July 4th, 2018