QUETTA: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf central parliamentary board, headed by Prime Minister Imran Khan, has withdrawn the party ticket awarded to business tycoon Abdul Qadir in Balochistan for the Senate election after strong opposition from the PTI provincial leadership and zonal heads.
The party high command decided to take back ticket from Abdul Qadir and nominated Zahoor Agha for the Senate election on a general seat, said Adviser to the Prime Minister Shahbaz Gill on Saturday. “Withdrawal of party ticket from Abdul Qadir is correct,” the adviser said, explaining that Mr Agha would be party candidate from Balochistan in the Senate election.
Opposing the award of party ticket to Abdul Qadir, PTI’s provincial leadership argued that he did not belong to the PTI as he had been a member of the ruling Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) till last week.
The party provincial spokesman Asif Tareen also confirmed to Dawn that Zahoor Agha would contest the Senate election on general seat from Balochistan as the party withdrew its ticket from Mr Qadir.
He said the previous decision of the PTI had been taken in Islamabad without even consulting the Balochistan leadership of the party.
PTI regional presidents Dr Munir Baloch, Nawab Khan Dummar, Taj Mohammad Rind, Waris Dashti and provincial leaders Bismillah Agha and Babar Yousafzai earlier told a joint press conference that according to the PTI’s manifesto only a party member could contest Senate election.
Calling Mr Qadir a ‘parachuter’, the PTI leaders said the ticket had been awarded to a person who had nothing to do with the party. They demanded immediate withdrawal of the party ticket from him and an investigation to ascertain who had introduced him to Prime Minister Imran Khan and supported his name for party ticket. They said Abdul Qadir had been a partner of Shehbaz Sharif (president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz) and facing National Accountability Bureau cases.
Meanwhile, Mr Qadir, who has already filed his nomination papers with the certificate of party ticket with the returning officer in Quetta, has been quoted by a private TV channel as saying: “I accept the decision of the party leadership about withdrawal of party ticket.”
Published in Dawn, February 14th, 2021