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Internal Disarray in PTI as Senate Candidate Selection Raises Questions

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In a tumultuous turn of events, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) finds itself embroiled in internal strife over the selection of candidates for the upcoming Senate elections. Asad Qaiser, a prominent figure within the party, cast doubt on whether the list of candidates had received the endorsement of PTI founder Imran Khan, stirring further uncertainty within the ranks.

Speaking candidly during an interview with a private news channel, Qaiser expressed his lack of certainty regarding Khan’s approval of the candidate roster. When pressed about his satisfaction with the authenticity of the Senate hopefuls selected by Khan, Qaiser admitted, “I have no clue if Imran Khan approved it or not. I don’t want to comment on it.”

Furthermore, Qaiser defended Omer Sarfraz Cheema’s right to vie for a Senate ticket, recognizing Cheema’s longstanding dedication and sacrifices for the party.

These revelations come against a backdrop of growing dissent among PTI leaders, with disagreements over pivotal decisions such as forming alliances post-election. The decision to align with the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) following the February 8 elections has particularly sparked discord within the party’s ranks.

Sher Afzal Marwat, another PTI leader, lamented the repercussions of what he deemed to be ill-advised decisions, including withdrawing from an alliance with Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Shirani (JUI-Shirani) and later pivoting towards Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-Nazriati (PTI-N).

Additionally, Marwat criticized the decision to ally with Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen (MWM), asserting that threats necessitated a switch to the SIC. However, Senator Barrister Ali Zafar revealed a discrepancy in decision-making processes, indicating a flip-flop between MWM and SIC as viable allies for securing reserved seats.

Amidst this tumult, PTI announced its candidates for the Senate polls, with Sanam Javed and Dr. Yasmin Rashid contending for women’s and technocrat seats respectively from Punjab. Hamid Khan, Zulfi Bukhari, Omer Sarfraz Cheema, and Colonel (retd) Ejaz Hussain Minhas were named as candidates for general seats.

As PTI grapples with internal divisions and questions surrounding candidate selection, the path to the Senate elections remains fraught with uncertainty, casting a shadow over the party’s unity and coherence.

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