Spell-bound by politics, most of the local traders, industrialists and exporters have entered the race for local government offices in Sialkot thereby irking the old political activists who now think they are being ignored by their respective parties.

The trend of stepping in politics by the local industrialists and exporters is rising as they firmly believe that the industrialists and exporters could also be good politicians. They said that they earn precious foreign exchange for economic stability thus, they have right to join politics.

Talking to the media, exporters Muhammad Bashir, Khalid Mehmood, Jamshaid Hussain, Khalil Ahmed, Mian Riaz Hussain, Mian Naeem Javaid and Noman Ahmed pledged to bring freshness in the local politics of Sialkot. They said doing politics was also their basic right, claiming that they can do politics in a well-mannered way.

To a question, they said that they were not ousting local workers of the political parties from local political scenario by invading into local politics. “We are trying to get our basic right of doing politics,” they said. The local leadership of the mainstream political parties including PML-N, PTI, PPP and PML-Q warmly welcome the local financial tycoons into local politics. Most of them have contacted with the local leadership by depositing formal applications at the local offices of these political parties for getting their party tickets.

Some local parties’ workers said that the mainstream political parties were closing the door of politics on even old and sincere workers.

Party workers Faisal Waris, Arif Mehmood Sheikh, Abdul Majid Butt, Zuber Ayub Khokhar, Muhammad Amjad Qureshi, Abdul Rauf, Hafiz Zeeshan Mughal, Noor Ahmed, Usman Arif and Bashir Hussain said that they being deprived of contesting polls. They said that all the political parties ware cornering their old and sincere workers, opening the door to traders, industrialists and exporters.

When contacted, PTI Deputy Secretary General Umer Dar said that a big number of local businessmen, industrialists and exporters have submitted their applications in Sialkot for getting party tickets to contest the upcoming LB Polls. Sialkot based Umer Dar is also an exporter-turned-politician.

Idrees Ahmed Bajwa, the president of the PML-N Sialkot district, also said that the majority of local traders, industrialists and exporters were applying to get PML-N ticket. He said that doing politics is also the right of businessmen. He said that old and sincere workers were the precious asset of the PML-N and it would protect their political rights.