ISLAMABAD: Days after losing the PTI backing for the post of Nat­ional Assembly’s Public Accou­nts Committee (PAC), maverick Sher Afzal Khan Marwat on Wednesday lashed out at senior party figures for what he called depriving him of the coveted position.

Mr Marwat was a strong candidate for the post and PTI Chairman Barrister Gohar Ali Khan recently announced that party founder Imran Khan had agreed on his candidature.

However, PTI’s political committee met in Islamabad on Friday night to discuss the nomination with majority voting to replace Mr Marwat with MNA Sheikh Waqas Akram.

A party insider said that nine of the 19-member committee, headed by Omar Ayub, voted for Shaikh Waqas, seven for Mr Marwat, with Aon Abbas, although present, opting to abstain. Former NA speaker Asad Qaiser and Mr Marwat were not present.

Talking to the media persons, Mr Marwat vented his anger at the senior party leaders and announced the decision not to work with them under protest.

He said the PTI had turned into a dead horse following the arrest of Imran Khan, claiming that he revived the party and took the runaway leaders back to their respective constituencies. However, after the Feb 8 elections, they betrayed him, he regretted.

The PTI lawmaker accused the senior party figures of flouting Imran Khan’s directives on one pretext and another.

He said he was not being allowed to meet the PTI founding chairman in jail, adding that he was not invited to the political committee’s meeting where the voting was held to replace him with Sheikh Waqas as the PAC chairman.

An insider told Dawn that the meeting was convened haphazardly. Accor­ding to him, the members were initially informed that the contest was bet­ween Mr Marwat and Sunni Ittehad Council chairman Sahibzada Hamid Raza. However, most of them were surprised when they learnt that the candidates were Mr Marwat and Sheikh Waqas.

The political committee comprises five MNAs from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa — Asad Qaiser, Atif Khan, Barrister Gohar, Omar Ayub and Mr Marwat. Besides them, Ali Amin Gandapur, Shah Farman, Azam Khan Swati and Shibli Faraz are also from KP.

Likewise, Firdus Sha­mim Naqvi and Haleem Adil Sheikh are from Sindh, Salar Khan Kakar and Qasim Khan Suri from Balochistan and Khalid Khuersheed is from Gilgit-Baltistan.

Hammad Azhar, Mian Aslam Iq­­bal, Hafiz Farhat, Aon Abbas Buppi, Moonis Elahi and Zulfi Bukhari are the PTI leaders from Punjab but, according to the insi­der, not a single MNA from the province was added to the committee.

As per statistics, PTI-backed independent candidates won 59 seats of the National Assembly from Punjab and 34 from KP.

Published in Dawn, May 9th, 2024

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