LAHORE - The Jamaat-e-Islami yesterday announced backing the Tehreek-e-Insaf for by-election in Lahore scheduled for October 11.

The announcement came after a meeting of JI and PTI leaders at the former’s headquarters Mansora. PTI team comprised Ch Sarwar Mahmoodur Rasheed, Umar Sarfraz Cheema and Aleem Khan while Mian Maqsood, Khalique Butt, Zikrullah Mujahid, Ehsanullah Waqas and Malk Shahid Aslam represented JI.

Tough battle between PTI and PML-N is expected in the upcoming by-polls as religo-political parties preferred supporting to either of them to contesting the votes.

The JI says that it has been enjoying the support of 17 per cent of voters in the constituency – a claim believed to be as an exaggeration.

The Majlis-e-Wahdatul Muslimeen (MWM) – considered having a good number of supporters – has already announced its support to the PTI.

The PAT is supporting the PTI for only the National Assembly seat.

PAT chairman Dr Tahirul Qadri’s following could not be ruled out in NA-122.

The Sunni Ittehad Council – an alliance of two dozen religious groups – and the JUI-N are also supporting PTI, but it political pundits say the support is not a big deal.

On the other hand, Maulana Raghib Naeemi has decided to nback PML-N and JUI-F and JUP-Noornai and Jamiat Ehle Hatdith are also supporting the ruling party candidates. Maulana Raghib, son of late Maulana Sarfraz Naeemi and head of Jamia Naeemia –

an important religious seminary of Brelvi school of thought in the constituency – has a good number of following in the area.

“We will support PTI candidates in Lahore by-polls. PTI and Jamaat-e-Islami have also agreed on seat adjustment in 29 union council seats of Lahore,” JI Punjab spokesman Farooq Chohan told The Nation. JI Lahore chief Mian Maqsood, who had been given mandate by JI central leadership for making alliance with any of the PTI or PML-N in by-election, talking to The Nation, said that his party would support of PTI candidates in by-election.

“The JI has 17 per cent vote bank in the constituency and its support to Imran Khan’s party would clearly change the scenario of by-election,” he told this scribe.

Ch Sarwar said the PTI would win the election with majority votes. “The JI and PTI have ideal coalition in KPK and would work with the same spirit in Punjab. JI support for PTI candidates in Lahore is of great importance. Jammat’s vote bank in the constituency will help the PTI win with comfortable margin,” former Governor Punjab maintained.

N ministers invite ECP notices over poll campaign

Assistant Returning Officer of NA-122 and PP-147 Sajid Hussain yesterday issued show cause notice to three federal ministers for violating the elections code of conduct.

Minister for railways Khwaja Saad Rafiq, state minister for water and power Abid Sher Ali and chairperson of Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) Marvi Memon were issued notices for taking part in the election campaign of Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and Mohsin Latif.

The ARO directed the respondents to submit replies within two days.

Election Commission had imposed ban on federal ministers including prime minister to take part in campaigning and to deliver speech in favour of the candidates.