Ghulam Mursalin Marwat
LAKKI MARWAT: Former federal minister and head of Marwat Ittehad Group Salim Saifullah Khan who had earlier announced to contest election as independent candidate for NA 36 has now decided to withdraw from election race and let the field open for young aspirants.
The decision was taken in a bid to keep alliance between Marwat Ittehad Group and PTI intact and let the new faces to try their lot in electoral politics. The local PTI office bearers had opposed supporting Salim Saifullah Khan as independent candidate for national assembly constituency.
“If Salim Saifullah Khan wants to win elections with the support of PTI workers he will have to jump into polls arena with PTI ticket”, according to a local PTI leader. He said that local leadership was not happy over electoral alliance with MIG and supporting Saifullah as independent candidate in coming elections.
“We will press the high command of party to field its own candidate for NA36 or ask Salim Saifullah to be the contender of PTI for the national assembly constituency”, he added.
A source close to Saifullah says that the former federal minister Salim Saifullah Khan had convened a meeting of area elders, PTI office bearers, local bodies’ members and supports at his residence in Ghaznikhel to discuss poll strategy for coming national elections.
Former MNAs Humayun Saifullah Khan and Ghulamud Khan, former federal minister Anwar Saifullah Khan and political elite of the district attended the meeting. PPP central executive committee member and former federal minister Mr Anwar Saifullah Khan and former MNA Humayun Saifullah Khan are also not in the race for national or provincial assembly seats.
The influential Saifullah family is also not in a mood to field its young members including former Senator Osman Saifullah Khan and Jehangir Saifullah Khan in polls arena.
“During meeting Salim Saifullah Khan expressed his desire to bring new and young faces for NA 36 on PTI ticket”, according to source, adding that Saifullah brothers will finalise the name of contender for national assembly seat in coming couple of days.
The source said that influential Saifullahs would pick one among two power aspirants including former district nazim Ishfaq Ahmad Khan Meenakhel and Barrister Sher Afzal Khan to fight for the sole national assembly seat on a PTI ticket.