LAHORE - Admitting foul play in the award of party tickets for Cantonment Boards local bodies’ polls and 2013 general elections, PTI Punjab organiser Chaudhary Sarwar has claimed he would ensure award of tickets on merit in the upcoming LB polls.

Sarwar made this admission while addressing a press conference at party office on Saturday after chairing a meeting of district organisers, deputy organisers and Punjab Executive Council members to discuss party’s position in the province regarding upcoming local polls.

The selection of unsuitable candidates had cost the PTI dearly in the local polls for Cantonment Boards with crushing defeat in the provincial capital that has been claimed by the ruling party, PML-N, as its “fort”. PTI chairman Imran Khan had formed a special inquiry committee after defeat in Punjab’s Cantonment Boards polls to probe into the matter with special focus on Lahore, Rawalpindi, Sargodha and other Cantonment Board districts.

However, the committee could not function because Ch Sarwar who was nominated by party chief as the committee’s head, politely refused to take the job.

He was, later on, was made the party’s provincial organiser after the dissolution of party offices apparently taken up the task of ensuring merit in award of party tickets process in the future.

He said, “Mistakes had been made in the award of party tickets for local bodies’ polls of Cantonment Boards and 2013 general elections, and I would make all efforts to ensure make the ticket awarding process transparent. The tickets for upcoming local polls would be given on merit.”

Sarwar also announced a committee for ensuring ethics and discipline in the party under the name of Ethics & Disciplinary Committee. He said the committee would check and curb financial irregularities and violation of party rules in the party.

This committee comprises three members: Chaudhry Yaqoob, Mumtaz Kahlon and Hamid Zaman.

Sarwar also told the media the committee would decide any complaint within seven days of its submission. Warning the corrupt elements among the ranks of the PTI, he claimed no ticket would be awarded to a party member involved in any embezzlement or defaulter of any financial institution. There was no place for defaulters and fraudsters in the party, he added.

Sarwar further said PTI takes credit of being the only party in political history of Pakistan which had its two ministers arrested and proved that no one was above the law.

On this occasion, he announced July 25 as the last date for receiving party tickets applications for upcoming local polls. The final lists would be displayed on August 20, he added.

The PTI leader also demanded conduct of local polls under Biometric System, besides the proactive role of the Election Commission to ensure transparent elections.