LAHORE-The PPP’s central Punjab President, Mian Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo who chaired an important party meeting on Thursday tasked three ex-presidents of party’s Lahore chapter to hunt for potential candidates for the upcoming electoral battles in Lahore.

After an extensive discussion with party stalwarts from Lahore to ponder over names of potential candidates from the City, Wattoo formed a three-member committee comprising Mian Misbahur Rehman, Aslam Gill and Haji Azizur Rehman Chan-all ex-presidents from Lahore-to lure and suggest names of electables.

Strangely enough, the name of existing Lahore President, Samina Khalid Ghurki, has not been included in the committee. She, reportedly, came without any homework and rather then giving any suggestion sought the same from other party men during discussion on finding suitable candidates. 

Held at the residence of Mian Misbahur Rehman, the meeting was attended among others by Federal Minister and PPP’s Lahore President, Samina Khalid Ghurki, central Punjab General Secretary Tanvir Ashraf Kaira, Qasim Zia, Aslam Gill, Azizur Rehman Chan, President’s Coordinator and ticket holder, Navid Ch, Lahore women wing president, Faiza Malik, Lahore General Secretary Zekria Butt and Munir Ahmad Khan.

Party’s Secretary General Jehangir Badr and Asif Hashmi had also been invited, but, as per sources, they could not make it due to their ‘more important’ engagements. 

Wattoo, after getting first-hand knowledge about the party position in the provincial capital, also tasked all the participants to lure prospective candidates who could give tough time to their rivals in the coming elections. It transpired during the course of discussion that PPP would have to look for strong candidates for at least six constituencies in the City which included NA-119, NA-120, NA-123 NA-126, NA-127 and NA-128.

According to one of the participants, consensus emerged in the meeting that party should invite applications from prospective candidates desirous of contesting the coming elections without any further delay, so that candidates get enough time to have liaison with the voters. One of the participants suggested that party should also get feedback from zonal presidents on the new candidates.

“Finding potential candidates from Lahore is really a big challenge for the PPP which had been losing Lahore battle for the last over two decades; and now, it would be going to the elections without addressing the crucial problem of power outages and scarcity of natural gas”, commented one of the participants of the meeting who further said that that party would have to rely on its existing horses in the absence of stronger ones.  

He said several names including the runner ups of the 2008 elections came under discussion but there seemed hardly any except a few who could defeat the opponents in the coming electoral contests. The meeting reviewed the performance of party candidates in the last elections, and decided to retain most of them.