KARACHI - In a bid to secure victory in the polls in many constituencies of Karachi, the mainstream political parties including the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Pakistan People’s Party had managed to get the support of banned outfit Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan that later renamed as Ahl-e-Sunnat Waljamat and now contesting the elections on the platform of Pakistan Rah-e-Huq Party.

The PTI candidates from NA-241 Faheem Khan and Malik Shahzad who is contesting of PS-116; the PML-N leader Ali Akbar Gujjar, candidate from NA-239 Rana Ahsan, Ali Ashiq Gujjar of PS-103; and the PPP’s aspirants from NA-251 and PS-119 Jameel Zia and Agha Zahir Shah respectively had called on the ASWJ leaders at their headquarters and sought its support on their respective constituencies.

Waqar Mehdi, the PPP provincial general secretary told The Nation that they had issued show cause notices to party candidates who had met the banned outfit leaders and sought its support. He said that the party leadership had already expelled Haji Muzaffar Shujra, the candidate of PS-91, for seeking ASWJ’s support in the polls. “As the PPP neither made seat adjustment any political party nor sought anyone’s support, there is no way of seeking support from the banned group,” he added.

When The Nation contacted the PTI Karachi President Shamim Naqvi, he was unaware that any of his candidate and members had met the ASWJ leaders but later, he totally denied the same. Naqvi said as per his party policy, they are not supporting even a single candidate belonged to a banned outfit; however he added that they cannot refrain anyone from supporting them.  “As per my reports, none of our candidates or members visited the ASWJ headquarter and if it is established, we will oust that member without any delay,” he assured.

When contacted, the PML-N leader Ali Akbar did not attend the call. Nevertheless, the party had openly sought the support from the sectarian group as the its senior leader and former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi visited the ASWJ’s Islamabad headquarter on July 10.

 

 In the response, the ASWJ announced support for Abbasi from NA-53 from where he is up against the PTI Chairman Imran Khan.