Tuesday Feb 16, 2021
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has cancelled all official engagements and has summoned an important meeting of the PTI's Parliamentary Board today to review the award of tickets which have created rifts among the party leaders, according to sources.
Sources said that the prime minister has convened the meeting to discuss the objections on the Senate tickets raised by the local party chapters.
Governor Punjab Mohammad Sarwar, who is member of the Parliamentary Board, has arrived in Islamabad on a special flight.
On Monday, the prime minister held a consultative meeting with the senior party leaders on the issue and indicated that some decision might be changed.
PM Imran Khan had stressed that all tickets will be issued on the basis of merit, adding that he respects the wishes of his party's members and that parachuters will not be made senators, sources added.
The central PTI leadership is under fire over the selection of candidates for the upcoming Senate polls.
PTI's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chapter raised objections over the nomination of Najibullah Khattak, while PTI Sindh said they had a problem with the selection of Federal Minister Faisal Vawda and construction tycoon Saifullah Abro.
The 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 the three regions said they were “extremely disappointed with the entire process” of selecting PTI's candidates for the Senate polls.
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.
Earlier, the PTI leadership withdrew the Balochistan Senate ticket from business tycoon Abdul Qadir after backlash and issued it to Zahoor Agha.
In order to pacify the Karachi leaders, the prime minister may visit the city today to meet them and take them into confidence, sources said.
It is expected that tickets awarded to Vawda and Abro may be withdrawn.
Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Asad Umar has said that the objections raised by PTI Sindh members in relation to giving a Senate ticket to Faisal Vawda are "understandable because he is a sitting Member of the National Assembly (MNA) so [party members think that] he should not be given a Senate ticket."
Speaking during a show on Geo News, the minister added that while PTI Sindh members' objections are valid, federal Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda's shift towards the Senate and his demand to prioritise him on the basis of his seniority are also understandable.
"Faisal Vawda has an ongoing [dual citizenship] case against him and we don't know when will a verdict be given regarding that," Asad Umar said. "There is a risk of the court giving a judgment against Vawda."