Dynasties Over Loyalties: PTI Punjab Tickets Reek Of Nepotism

Dynasties Over Loyalties: PTI Punjab Tickets Reek Of Nepotism
LAHORE: When it comes to dynastic politics, former premier Imran Khan and his party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf have been very vocal in their opposition. The PTI has repeatedly claimed that the party’s political struggle is against the scourge of dynastic politics. The PTI media machine has loudly propagated the party and their Chairman's hatred for the dynastic politics practiced by their political rivals, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

But it seems that PTI chairman Imran Khan has taken another U-turn, this time on his disdain for dynastic politics, during the process of awarding party tickets. Tickets have been awarded to families and clans which have been part of dynastic politics for decades.

Sources privy to this development told TFT that the way Imran Khan awarded party tickets in Punjab speaks volumes about his criticism against dynastic politics being mere eyewash and completely farcical.

In Faisalabad, PTI has awarded party tickets to former speaker Punjab Assembly Afzal Sahi and his son and former provincial minister Ali Afzal Sahi. It is pertinent to mention that Ali Afzal Sahi is also the son-in-law of Chief Justice of Lahore High Court (LHC) Muhammad Ameer Bhatti.

In Lahore, PTI has awarded two provincial assembly tickets to former provincial minister and opposition leader Mian Mehmoodur Rashid and his son-in-law Mian Muhammad Akram Usman, who is the son of Mian Muhammad Usman, who served as MNA for two consecutive terms.

Interestingly, four provincial assembly tickets have also been awarded to the influential Dareshak family from Rajanpur and Dera Ghazi Khan. Those who managed to secure tickets include Ahmad Ali Dareshak, former provincial minister Husnain Bahadur Dareshak, Farooq Amanullah Dareshak and Awais Dareshak.

It is pertinent to mention that Husnain Dareshak is the son of seasoned parliamentarian Sardar Nasrullah Khan Dareshak and Ahmad Ali Dareshak is his grandson. Awais Dareshak is his nephew, whereas Farooq Amanullah Dareshak is also his relative.

In Muzaffargarh, the influential Jatoi family has managed to secure three provincial assembly tickets after the change of tickets from PTI. Those who have managed to secure tickets include former minister Moazam Jatoi, Dawood Khan Jatoi and Rasool Bakhsh Jatoi.

In Faisalabad, former provincial minister Chaudhry Zaheerudin Khan’s nephew Taimoor Ali Khan has managed to secure a party ticket; he is also the brother of former MPA Chaudhry Ali Akhtar.

PTI’s leader Fawad Chaudhry failed to secure a provincial assembly seat from Jhelum; the party has awarded the party ticket to his cousin Fouq Sher Baz, while ignoring former MPA Raja Yawar Kamal.

In Sialkot, Ahsan Saleem Baryar, who is the son of Saleem Baryar, who is close to Chauhdry Parvez Elahi and family since decades, has once again managed to secure a provincial assembly ticket. His father in law Tahir Khurshid, who is a senior bureaucrat and has served as principal secretary to former Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, and is currently facing corruption charges.

In Bahawalnagar, Nawab Salman Gaduka who belongs to the influential Gaduka Wattoo family has managed to secure a party ticket after Mian Khadim Hussain Wattoo’s family moved to PML-N. Iqbal Khan Gaduka and Sardar Khan Gaduka from his family have been the part of the Assembly since the 1970s.

In Toba Tek Singh, PTI has awarded a party ticket to Chaudhry Ramzan, who is the brother of former Punjab governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar and Ashifa Riaz Fatyana, who is the wife of seasoned parliamentarian Riaz Fatyana.

In Attock, PTI has awarded a party ticket to former provincial minister Yawar Bukhari, who is the cousin of Imran Khan’s close aide Zulfikar Ali Bukhari, famously known as Zulfi Bukhari.

In Multan, PTI had awarded party tickets to Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s son Zain Hussain Qureshi and his nephew for the Punjab assembly. In Gujrat, PTI has awarded party tickets to Chaudhry Parvez Elahi and his son Chaudhry Moonis Elahi.

The awarding of party tickets indicates that the PTI’s opposition to dynastic politics was in name only.

The writer is a senior correspondent at The Friday Times with a focus on politics, economy and militancy. He also hosts the Hassan Naqvi Show on Naya Daur.