ISLAMABAD: The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has awarded its party ticket for a Senate general seat from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to Zeeshan Khanzada, the son of former Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) senator Khanzada Khan.

According to an official announcement by central media department of PTI here on Tuesday, the party has officially asked Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to allot Mr Khanzada the party symbol for the by-election for which voting will take place in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on November 26.

The seat was vacated by PPP’s Khanzada Khan for his son when he tendered his resignation last month after developing some differences with the party leadership.

With Mr Khanzada’s resignation, PPP and opposition had lost their strength in the Senate as PTI is almost sure to win the seat due to its majority in the KP Assembly.

PPP, which is the second largest party in the 104-member Senate after PML-N, has now left with 19 senators.

Sources said that Mr Khanzada was unhappy with the party leadership for suspecting him of foul play during the crucial vote on the no-confidence motion against Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani in September during which the opposition faced embarrassment when a number of senators ditched their parties and despite having clear majority in the Senate, the opposition failed in its efforts to remove Mr Sanjrani.

A day after the no-trust fiasco in the Senate, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari constituted a five-member committee to ascertain the role of party senators in the voting and other related matters. The committee headed by former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani is yet to submit its report to the party chairman.

Sources in PPP said that Khanzada Khan, who belongs to Mardan, was unhappy over the remarks of former president Asif Ali Zardari in which he had reportedly stated that one of the renegades was from KP and that he knew him.

They said that Khanzada Khan had confided to some of his friends in the party that he was unhappy over Mr Zardari’s remarks and said it seemed that the former president in his statement was referring to him.

Moreover, sources said, PPP in the last general elections had refused the party ticket for a provincial assembly seat from Mardan to his son Zeeshan Khanzada, who had recently joined PTI.

Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2019

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