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KARACHI: Senior Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan leader Dr Farooq Sattar on Wednesday claimed that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf had offered him to contest the by-election on a National Assembly seat (NA-247 Karachi) that fell vacant after the resignation of President-elect Dr Arif Alvi.

However, the PTI dubbed Dr Sattar’s claim as his “wish” and not reality.

Without ruling out the possibility of Dr Sattar becoming part of the PTI, it said the party would field its loyal and old member in the NA-247 by-election.

The “offer”, if any, was made public by Dr Sattar himself while talking to reporters after appearing in an antiterrorism court.

He did not name any individual for extending the offer on behalf of the PTI to contest the by-election. He only called them “common friends” who wanted this development in the larger interest of the city.

“But let me tell you I have not quit the MQM and I have not joined any other party. Some members [of parliament] and common friends think that I should contest from NA-247 as it would be good for MQM, PTI and above all for Karachi,” he said.

However, senior PTI leader Haleem Adil Shaikh expressed surprise over Dr Sattar’s claim and said it could be his wish but the party had not contacted him for any offer.

“We regard Dr Sattar’s wish and welcome him or anyone who wants to join PTI. As far as NA-247 is concerned, our candidate will be an old and loyal PTI worker. [The seat is] not going to be offered to a newcomer,” he added.

Published in Dawn, September 6th, 2018