ISLAMABAD - Senior leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and former provincial president of the party Ejaz Ahmed Chaudhry has emerged as the strong contender for the ticket of Senate seat vacated by Governor Punjab Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar.

Chaudhry Sarwar was the elected senator of PTI on seat of Punjab and he has recently resigned from the seat before he took oath of his office as governor Punjab. PTI had nominated Chaudhry Sarwar for the position of provincial governor after its victory in the July 25 election.

Many within the PTI have started lobbying to get party ticket for the Senate, however party sources confirmed that PTI’s former provincial president of Punjab chapter Ejaz Chaudhry has emerged as the strongest candidate for the Senate ticket.

Ejaz Chaudhry was in Jamaat-e-Islami before joining PTI in 2007 and he faced defeat in 2018 General Election from PML-N candidate Pervaiz Malik from Lahore’s National Assembly constituency—NA-133.

Ishaq Khakwani, regional president of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is also being considered as another strong contender for the Senate ticket. Ishaq Khawani is a key leader of the party and has lost election of the National Assembly from Vehari. According to PTI sources, Khaqwani has blamed a senior party leader for his defeat in the election.

Official sources in the party said that former MNA Nadeem Afzal Chan is also lobbying to get the Senate ticket. He has also lost the July 25 election on a National Assembly seat. 

The name of senior lawyer and PTI leader Hamid Khan is also being discussed within the party circles for the slot. Hamid Khan, however, is not in the limelight for the last more than a year after he refused to contest party’s case in the Supreme Court regarding Panama Papers involving former prime minister and PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif.

Personal secretary of Ijaz Chaudhry informed The Nation that the senior party leadership has not conveyed Chaudhry that he has been awarded the Senate ticket.