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LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s presidential candidate Dr Arif Alvi has said he will be acting as a president of the whole Pakistan instead of becoming a partisan official, if returned to the President House.

Dr Alvi along with a delegation of PTI top leaders had called on Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi and former prime minister and PML-Q president Chaudhry Shujaat Husain at their Lahore residence to discuss planning for the presidential election scheduled for Sept 4.

Mr Elahi told Dr Alvi that PML-N candidate Maulana Fazalur Rehman had called him but he (Maulana) himself started laughing while asking for support and vote. “I too started laughing,” Mr Elahi added.

Says he will act as president of whole country

The Punjab Assembly speaker said the PML-Q and PTI were working together as both parties entered into an alliance. “Our campaign is continuing with great speed to ensure that Dr Arif Alvi gets elected as president of Pakistan with a clear-cut majority,” he said and added that other PTI allied parties were also fully supporting Alvi.

To a question, Mr Elahi said the PML-Q was in constant contact with Dr Tahirul Qadri, holding talks with Khurrum Nawaz Gandapur twice a week.

Elahi said his party along with the PTI was raising voice jointly over different issues, including the Model Town tragedy.

Mr Elahi also thanked Prime Minister Imran Khan for lauding his [2002-2007 tenure] development works in Punjab and expressed his satisfaction that all public welfare projects [stopped by the previous PML-N government] had been taken up for completion.

About appointment of the opposition leader in Punjab Assembly, he said nomination of opposition leader was opposition’s right and in the same breath expressed his surprise saying, “I do not know why the PML-N was in so much hurry that one person put signatures of different MPAs. The PML-N leaders themselves are responsible for the delay.”

Speaking to media persons, Dr Alvi said he was hopeful that he would win the presidential election with vast majority. He said Mr Elahi and Mr Shujaat Husain were seasoned politicians and he would take benefit from their political acumen [while serving as president of Pakistan]. If returned to the President House, Dr Alvi said he would act as president of the whole Pakistan instead of becoming a partisan official. “I would work within the ambit of law and constitution and continue working on different subjects like water scarcity, health issues and children hit by stunting. He said some 61 per cent of children in Sindh were facing stunted growth and failed to achieve required height and lead a healthy life.

The PTI’s presidential candidate was accompanied by Jahangir Khan Tareen, Governor Sindh Imran Ismail, National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri, federal minister Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Ishaq Khakwani, Amir Dogar and Halim Adil Sheikh.

PML-Q’s Tariq Bashir Cheema, Kamil Ali Agha, Bao Rizwan, Tariq Hassan, Dr Afzal, Ehsanul and Rah-e-Haq Party’s Muhammad Muaviya were also present.

Mr Alvi along with Sindh Governor Imran Ismail had arrived in Lahore a day earlier and held a meeting with the Punjab Assembly members belonging to the PTI and PML-Q.

Published in Dawn, September 2nd, 2018