Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) parliamentary board has finalised the party tickets for the by-elections to be held in NA-48 Islamabad and NA-71 Mianwali constituencies, and it has been decided that the party’s top leaders Asad Umar and Ayla Malik would be contesting for the constituencies being vacated by Makhdoom Javed Hashmi and Imran Khan, respectively.
Though the formal announcement is yet to be made, the party’s hierarchy has made the decisions according to which Imran Khan would vacate NA-1, Peshawar, and NA-71 Mianwali seats and keep NA-56, Rawalpindi seat.
Makhdoom Javed Hashmi would keep the NA-149 Multan seat and would vacate NA-48 Islamabad. A senior PTI leader told Pakistan Today that the party wanted to get elected Asad Umar who was not only a top leader of the party, but would be badly missed due to his expertise on economy and other related issues.
“We would badly need Asad Umar regarding the party’s official policy on the budget-making of the federal government, while he would also assist the party’s chairman Imran Khan on other issues,” the PTI leader said, adding that the party’s parliamentary board had given approval in this regard.
The source added that since Ayla Malik had acted as in-charge of PTI’s election campaign in Mianwali district, she would be an asset for the party in the National Assembly, as Khan wanted to again clinch Mianwali seat, his hometown.
“For Imran Khan, Mianwali is not only a hometown but he is attached to his people a lot. Ayla Malik is very popular among Mianwali voters and she holds sway across Mianwali district due to the influence of the Kalabagh family. She has also gelled the party workers and local leadership together. So the party is going to field her from Mianwali,” the PTI leader added.
Asked whether Inamullah Khan Niazi, the first cousin of Imran Khan would play an irritant against Ayla’s candidature, the PTI leader said PTI workers and local leaders were united and Ayla Malik was the undisputed leader.