‘Infighting or vested interest’: Faraz, Gandapur sideline senior PTI leadership in award of tickets in KP

ISLAMABAD: The new leadership of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is under strong criticism from the party’s second and third tier leadership in award of party tickets, for [once again] ignoring the party loyalists who stood their ground in the face of extreme pressure and brutal repression.

Informed sources in the PTI, requesting anonymity, told daily Pakistan Today that the party’s most loyal leaders including Asad Qaisar, Ali Mohammad Khan, Atif Khan, Shahram Tarakai, Shah Farman and Shehryar Afridi were totally ignored in award of party tickets for KP Assembly.

“Rather only a few individuals decided the party tickets in “blatant violation” of the principles set by party’s founding chairman Imran Khan. Shibli Faraz and Ali Amin Gandapur led the party tickets distribution process while Omar Ayub Khan and Ali Asghar Khan were also a part of the group,” said a well-informed source.

Another source said that Imran Khan had given clear directions to the party leadership including Barrister Gohar Khan to take onboard Ali Mohamad Khan, Shehryar Afridi, Atif Khan and Asad Qaisar etc who better understood the party cadre but all the advice were ignored on behest of Shibli Faraz and Ali Amin Gandapur who prevailed over the new leadership.

“Gandapur neither awarded party tickets to Asad Qaisar, Atif Khan and Tarakai for KP Provincial Assembly, for the fear of being the potential candidates if the party comes into a position to form government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Assembly after the elections. He refused them tickets claiming that the party chief Imran Khan had asked not to award party tickets to anyone contesting for National Assembly and Provincial Assembly simultaneously,” the source said.

The source said it was interesting to note that while this rule was applied to deny KP Assembly tickets to Atif Khan, Asad Qaisar and others, Gandapur was awarded party tickets for both the National and Provincial Assembly simultaneously.

“Not only Ali Amin Gandapur was awarded tickets for both the national and provincial assembly, his brother was also awarded tickets for national and provincial assembly constituencies,” the source added.

Moreover, the source said that the new leader Sher Afzal Marwat was also sidelined and was not included in the consultation process despite the fact that it was one and only Marwat who had raised the party flag when entire party leadership was either underground or arrested.

“Sidelining Marwat is a great disservice to the party which would haunt the party for a long time. Ignoring such a man who has been the iconic figure and raised party flag high when entire party leadership had either been arrested or had gone into hiding is very unfortunate,” the source added.

The source said that the party had been hijacked by a “coterie of compromised people.” Some party workers are again blaming Gandapur for selling party tickets despite the fact that party’s loyalist workers are facing worst sort of crackdown.

“I fear that this all may prove to be detrimental for the party and the morale of the party’s rank and file may again get affected,” the source maintained, adding that the party leadership was yet to digest how Shibli Faraz had managed to avoid arrest in most critical times of the party and its workers.

This scribe made repeated attempts to contact PTI leaders – Shibli Faraz, Ali Amin Gandapur, and Information Secretary Maoof Hasan to seek their comment on the issue but to no avail.

Similarly, Asad Qaiser, Atif Khan and Shehram Tarakai were contacted on their cell numbers but all attempts remained fruitless.

Saleem Jadoon
Saleem Jadoon
News Editor at Pakistan Today

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