- Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi meets PTI leaders from Sindh at Karachi airport
- Senior party leader says Saifullah Abro given ticket to stop him from buying votes
- Faisal Vawda’s disqualification case is a matter of concern for local party leaders.
KARACHI: Senate tickets being given to Federal Minister Faisal Vawda and wealthy construction contractor Saifullah Abro has created a rift among PTI leaders from Sindh. They have written a letter to Sindh Governor Imran Ismail over it.
The ruling party has been under fire from its provincial chapters in Sindh and Balochistan for awarding Senate tickets to Vawda and Abro.
Earlier, the central party leadership withdrew the Balochistan Senate ticket from business tycoon Abdul Qadir after backlash and issued it to Zahoor Agha.
Encouraged by the Balochistan fiasco, key party leaders from three zones of rural Sindh approached the governor on Sunday to show their anger and demand the party’s high command to take back tickets from Vawda and Abro.
In the letter, PTI office-bearers from three regions said they were “extremely disappointed with the entire process” of the selection of PTI’s candidates for the Senate polls.
The leaders who signed the letter included Sadaqat Ali Jatoi [who is also the brother of former Sindh chief minister Liaquat Jatoi], PTI Sukkur district President Mubeen Jatoi, Allah Bux Unnar and Raja Khan Jhakrani, former provincial secretary general Mehfooz Usrani, a former candidate from NA-214 Shaheed Benazirabad Gul Muhammad Rind, former provincial minister Agha Taimoor Khan Pathan, Papu Khan Chachar and other office-bearers.
Party leaders meet Qureshi at airport
Meanwhile, PTI leaders held a meeting with Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who is also PTI’s vice-chairperson, and expressed their reservation over the selection of candidates for the Senate ticket.
Qureshi, who is in Karachi, assured them of addressing their concerns.
Vawda’s disqualification case, Abro ‘a newcomer’
According to the publication, the PTI leaders asked the party leadership not to consider Vawda as a candidate for the Senate. “If he is de-seated from his National Assembly seat, the party should nominate him from the constituency. If he is disqualified and not allowed to contest, the party will risk a seat which will make no sense.”
Showing concern over finalising Abro, a wealthy construction contractor, for the Senate on the technocrat seat, the PTI leaders asked how the Senate ticket was given to a newcomer in the party.
They alleged that cases against Abro, who has still been working closely with the Pakistan People’s Party leadership and is famed for being an ‘ATM machine’, have been pending in the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
The PTI leaders from rural Sindh asked to review the allocation of the Senate tickets from Sindh and said the decision will harm the party in the upcoming local government polls.
Who is Saifullah Abro?
Explaining the logic behind selecting a “newcomer”, a senior PTI leader from Sindh told that awarding a ticket to Abro was the party’s strategy to stop its MPAs from selling their votes to PPP’s candidates in the Senate polls as the party was fearful that the ruling party in the province may buy at least 10 out of its 30 members in the provincial assembly.
“Abro is a billionaire construction contractor and he will not only stop the PTI MPAs from selling their votes but can also buy the votes of PPP to win on technocrat seats,” the party leader, who requested anonymity.
Because of his close relations to the PPP’s central leadership, Abro was among the aspirants to get a ticket for PS-8, a provincial assembly seat from Larkana, in the 2018 general polls, according to sources.
After the PPP awarded a ticket to Sohail Anwar Sial, he contested the election as an independent candidate and ranked third by securing 8,800 votes. PPP candidate Sohail Anwar had won the polls by bagging 48,997 votes. In December 2018, he joined the PTI.