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SAHIWAL: An independent candidate from PP-194, Barrister Haq Nawaz Jhandir, has announced support to the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf candidate Chaudhry Nameem Ibrahim reportedly after he was convinced to do so by the party’s central leader and Senator Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar.

According to sources, Mr Jhandir announced support for the PTI candidate after he was contacted by Mr Sarwar, who later announced the development through social media on Sunday evening.

Mr Ibrahim is contesting from the provincial assembly constituency that comprises Arifwala city in Pakpattan district against former Dr Farrukh Javed of the PML-N. Dr Javed has twice won the seat (previously PP-230) in 2008 and 2013 elections on the PML-N ticket. He was agriculture minister for most part of his tenure (2013-17), but later his portfolio was changed and was given literacy department. The PTI’s Mr Ibrahim was runner up in 2008 and 2013 polls on the PML-Q and PTI tickets, respectively.

As per local observers, this time Dr Javed is facing the toughest of the contests as compared to previous polls because of the incumbency factor. They say that this time some local trader groups, who were previously aligned with him have turned against him. For example, they say, the Resham Gali traders are opposing Dr Javed.

Similarly, Dr Javed suffered the latest blow when the municipal corporation opposition leader Zaheer Ahmad Gujjar announced support for Mr Ibrahim along with opposition councillors.

VIGIL: Sahiwal district and tehsil administration on Monday held a candlelit vigil and offered prayer for those embracing martyrdom in Mastung, Peshawar and D I Khan blasts during the last week.

The vigil was attended by government officials and representatives of civil society and minorities.

The event was led by Deputy Commissioner Muhammad Zaman Watto who in his speech said terrorism was a menace that claimed lives of thousands of Pakistanis. District Police Officer Mubashir Makan and Pakistan Medical Association ‘s Dr Sarfaraz Ahmed were also present.

Published in Dawn, July 17th, 2018