LAHORE - The opposition group of the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has failed to complete its panel and field all candidates for the 13 slots in the upcoming elections of Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry for 2018, as only six candidates were fielded by it.

The Businessmen Panel (BMP) has been losing the apex chamber’s polls for the last three consecutive years and seemed to remain loser again in 2018 for the fourth time, as it could not field a single candidate from the whole Punjab’s 20 chambers. Its candidate Mehmood Ghaznavi from Punjab who is contesting for the VP slot does not represent any chamber in Punjab, though he is former SVP of LCCI. Same is the case with SVP Nasir Maggun who has no vote from Punjab. Other nominated candidates , including Yahya Polani, Sartaj Khan and Nazli Abid, belonged to other provinces.

On the other hand, the ruling group - United Business Group - has fielded its candidates for all seats for the polls of FPCCI. It has nominated Ghazanfar Bilour as presidential candidate from KP. The ruling group’s other nominated candidates include SVP Mazhar Ali Nasir, VPs Ch Arfan Yousaf, Shabnum Ch, Ch Shafique, Waheed Ahmad, Atif Akram, Karim Aziz, Saeeda Bano, Javed Iqbal Ch, Tariq Aleem and Zahid Saeed.

United Business Group Chairman Iftikhar Malik is hopeful of winning more than 90 percent seats across the country, claiming that all 40 votes of 20 chambers in Punjab will support the UBG. He was of the view that business community will vote for the UBG in the upcoming election while the opponents will lose the elections for the fourth time.

Iftikhar Malik said that he along with SM Munir with support and cooperation of their group had started journey to serve the country, supplement the youth and curb the corruption from FPCCI. Now, businesspersons from every nook and corner of the country were coming under United Business Group's umbrella.

Malik said that UBG will sweep the federation election with landslide victory as it always lived up to the aspiration of the traders and business community. He said now fourth time traders will again repose their trust and pave the way for welfare of the business community. 

He also said that opposition group has remained unsuccessful to give any solid agenda to the business community. Hence they are unable to nominate suitable candidates for the elections. The UBG central leader Mirza Abdul Rehman said that about 90 percent of the business community supports the UBG because of its services and interest in the resolution of the issues of the community.

Mirza Abdul Rehman, who has also served as VP FPCCI, said that the opposition group has failed to lure voters which continue to disappoint them since last three elections. “Businessmen Panel has been rejected thrice in the FPCCI elections and it has realized the defeat in the upcoming election which has frustrated them.”

The UBG core committee member said that opponent of the UBG has a long history of corruption and there is nothing on their credit which can be used to attract voters. He said that elections will seal the fate of conspirators who have always preferred personal welfare in the name of promotion of interests of the business community.