Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Jahangir Tareen — who did a remarkable job wooing independent candidates to the PTI side post the July 25 election — has cut short an overseas trip and reached Pakistan days ahead of the presidential election to drum up support for Dr Arif Alvi.
Tareen, who had left for London before Eid, told reporters at the Lahore airport that he cut short his visit on Alvi's request. He said that Alvi had asked him to play 'an active role' in the upcoming election.
Saying he was optimistic about the chance's of Alvi's success, Tareen added: "I am always available for the PTI and Imran Khan whenever they need me in 'naya' Pakistan."
Alvi, in a tweet on Sunday, had said: "Need to visit all provincial capitals with our team as instructed by PM Imran Khan to meet our allies and voters and request for their votes. Have asked Jahangir Tareen who is in UK to join us. I think he has had a good vacation and now back to work."
The presidential election will be held on Sept 4 — five days before the expiry of the five-year term of President Mamnoon Hussain.
Alvi submitted his nomination papers for the election earlier today.
Though he regretted that all other candidates should have withdrawn in favour of the PTI nominee so that the federation's representative could attain a significant majority, he is optimistic that he will win the Sept 4 contest with a "clear majority".
If elected, Alvi said he will make use of the "numerous opportunities" within the constitutional ambit of the presidency to raise various issues of public interest.
With the grand opposition alliance failing to reach consensus on a single nominee, his election may be a foregone affair.
Both the PPP's Aitzaz Ahsan and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman are contesting Dr Arif Alvi's bid for the head of state's office .
The two candidates are expected to split the opposition's vote bank, thereby providing a virtual walkover to Dr Alvi.