PTI seeks explanation from Jatoi for making graft charges against party

Published February 25, 2021
Liaquat Ali Jatoi had served as the Sindh chief minister during the second tenure of the PML-N government under Nawaz Sharif in 1997. — File
Liaquat Ali Jatoi had served as the Sindh chief minister during the second tenure of the PML-N government under Nawaz Sharif in 1997. — File

ISLAMABAD: Initiating a disciplinary action, the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) on Wednesday issued a show-cause notice to senior party leader and former Sindh chief minister Liaquat Ali Jatoi for levelling serious allegations of corruption against the party leadership for awarding tickets for the Senate election.

The notice has been issued to the veteran politician from Sindh by the provincial chapter of the PTI’s Standing Committee on Accountability and Discipline (SCAD) a day after he told a news conference in his hometown Dadu that the party leadership had sold a Senate ticket to a candidate, Saifullah Abro, for Rs350 million.

The former CM accuses his own party of selling a Senate ticket for Rs350m

“Your press conference dated 23/02/2021 in which you spoke against the party leadership and hurled accusations went viral on social, print and electronic media. This act of yours is against the PTI’s party policy and the constitution,” read the notice, a copy of which was released to the media by the party’s central media office.

“Therefore, the matter is being referred to SCAD Western Region of Sindh province Karachi for further proceedings within seven days,” it added.

Addressing the news conference, Mr Jatoi had alleged that Mr Abro had parachuted into the party recently and managed to clinch the Senate ticket. Mr Jatoi, who had himself joined the PTI in April 2017 after quitting the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), stated that the decision to award the ticket to Mr Abro was “simply unjustifiable” and an affront to loyal party leaders and workers.

Mr Jatoi had also heaped scorn on Sindh Governor Imran Ismail stating that the Governor House in Karachi was at the centre of such decisions. He said the indulgence in drawing room politics at the supposedly impartial institution was detrimental to PTI’s core interests in Sindh. He lamented that the PTI leadership grossly neglected party leaders and office-bearers belonging to the interior of Sindh who had remained “unconditionally loyal” to the party in the Senate election.

He said that he had sent complaints to party chairman Imran Khan detailing all the issues. If the prime minister did not take notice of their complaints, he would gather PTI leadership of interior Sindh, his supporters and like-minded people in Betto Jatoi village on Feb 26 and take a decision about his future course of action, he had announced.

He said the PTI had completely failed to provide any relief to Sindh where the party had polled 1.5m votes.

Mr Jatoi had also distanced himself from allegations levelled by Leader of the Opposition in the Sindh Assembly Haleem Adil Sheikh against Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and his family members and said that Sheikh’s claims carried no weight, adding that he knew CM Shah, his late father Syed Abdullah Shah and other family members and he had complete trust that they were not as bad as Sheikh was painting them to be.

While joining the PTI in 2017, Mr Jatoi, who is known for changing parties, had stated that he considered Imran Khan as the last hope for the country and the “neglected people” of his province. At that time he was in the PML-N and said the people of Sindh had got nothing but disappointment to see Nawaz Sharif joining hands with Asif Zardari.

“Mr Sharif had come to my house and said he would ... help us get rid of Mr Zardari,” he had said, adding that there was anarchy in Sindh under the PPP government and people were expecting that the PML-N would take steps to heal their wounds, but that did not happen.

Mr Jatoi had served as the Sindh chief minister during the second tenure of the PML-N government under Nawaz Sharif in 1997.

In Sept 2014, he had announced revival of his own Awami Ittehad Party after getting what he called a cold response from the PML-N leadership.

Earlier, Mr Jatoi had joined the PML-Q after the 2002 general election and later served as a federal minister from 2002 to 2007 during the era of former military dictator Gen Pervez Musharraf.

Published in Dawn, February 25th, 2021

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