SWABI: Three Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf candidates have field nomination papers to contest by-election in PK-44, which was vacated by party leader Asad Qaiser who kept his National Assembly seat (NA-18) after the July 25 general elections.

The party has delayed the award of ticket for unknown reasons and this provided space to those who wanted to use their contacts and influence for getting the ticket.

The by-election is scheduled to be held on October 14 and Thursday was the last day for filing of nomination papers.

Three PTI candidates Aqibullah Khan, former MNA and brother of National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, former district information secretary Shah Wali Khan and former Swabi tehsil president Akhtar Ali have filed their nomination papers.

Party yet to award ticket for the Swabi constituency

Sources said that Mr Wali strived to use his contacts to reach the central leaders, opposing the award of ticket to Mr Aqibullah who had got the by-election ticket in 2013.

Mr Wali wanted that the party should now let the other people to contest the election.

When contacted, Shah Wali told this correspondent that he had rendered sacrifices and hoped to get the ticket.

Answering a question, he said that he had contacted the central leadership of the party for the ticket.

When asked for comments, party’s district president Anwar Haqdad said that the ticket was expected to be awarded to Mr Aqibullah.

He said that Mr Qaiser enjoyed a strong position in the party and at present it might be difficult for someone else to get the ticket.

Mr Akhtar also continued his struggle for acquiring the party ticket using his contacts.

Those who oppose Mr Aqibullah say that opportunity should be given to other leaders who also have the right to contest election.

Four days ago, when this correspondent met Mr Aqibullah at his residence in Marghuz he claimed that Mr Wali did not have support in Marghuz, Tandkoi, Gar Munara, Panjpir, Maneri Payan and Maneri Bala.

Meanwhile, Awami National Party candidate Ghulam Hassan filed his nomination papers on Thursday. He is a joint candidate of Swabi Democratic Alliance, which included seven political parties.

Published in Dawn, August 31st, 2018