Eminent columnist and politician Ayaz Amir on Thursday said that after the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) denied a ticket to him from his home constituency in Chakwal, he felt much relieved as he was out of this party now. His panel is expected announce unconditional support for the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) in Chakwal on Friday.
“The PML-N is a party in which the cardinal virtue to move forward is sycophancy. Since I was deficient in mastering this art, I couldn’t get along with it,” Amir told a local newspaper.
The PML-N preferred to go for Maj (r) Tahir Iqbal, nephew and son-in-law of Lt Gen (r) Abdul Majeed Malik, for NA-60 Chakwal that Ayaz Amir had won in 2008 with a huge margin.
“I was a strange ideological fellow traveler of the PML-N. I left the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in 1998 and came to the PML-N’s rescue in 2002 when it had no other candidate in Chakwal,” Ayaz Amir said. “We put a very strong fight in Talagang.”
The PML-N people, he said, liked his columns during the Pervez Musharraf’s era but held the totally opposite view about them over the last five years.
Ayaz Amir stood down from the contest as he withdrew his nomination papers on Thursday. However, his panel would support the PTI candidates in Chakwal.
He feels that at least four seats of Chakwal and Talagang, including NA-60, NA-61, Punjab Assembly’s PP-20 and PP-22, would be seriously affected due to the influence of his panel in the area.
Ayaz Amir was critical of the top PML-N leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and believed that he was instrumental in refusal of ticket to him.
When Ayaz Amir’s nomination papers were recently rejected by the Chakwal returning officer (later restored by an election tribunal), none from the PML-N even bothered to call him in order to express solidarity with him. He was at a vast distance from his party for quite some time and was feeling uneasy with it.
Tahir Iqbal, who has been granted the PML-N ticket, had switched to the PML-Q after the October 1999 military coup of Pervez Musharraf when the PML-N was in hot waters. He also served as a minister of state during that era. Majeed Malik was a leading member of the kitchen cabinet of Nawaz Sharif when the latter was the prime minister for two times. But when the chips were down, he too said goodbye to him.
However, the former general revived his contacts with the Sharif brothers recently with the objective of getting the PML-N ticket for Tahir Iqbal in which he succeeded.A PML-N leader said that the party decided to select Tahir Iqbal in view of his better prospects of victory, which were much better than those of Ayaz Amir.