SIALKOT - The PML-N has announced to award the party tickets to scions of Variyo family for NA-113 and PP-125 constituencies as a “gift”, as the Variyos had defected the PML-Q and joined the N League two years ago after facing defeats in the 2008 general elections.

The politicians from the family had played a pivotal role for the PML-N candidates’ victory in AJK Legislative Assembly’s elections and in the by elections of Punjab Assembly’s two constituencies (PP 122 and PP 129) in December 2012. In 2008, Khush Akhtar Subhani and Armughan Subhani, former Punjab ministers, had contested general elections from PP 125 Sialkot and PP 127 Pasrur on the PML-Q tickets and were knocked out by PPP and PML-N candidates. The family’s head Ch Abdul Sattar also contested 2008 general elections as PML-Q candidate from NA 114 Pasrur and was defeated by PML-N candidate Zahid Hamid.

The family had demanded the PML-N ticket for NA 111 Bajwat-Sialkot-II because of their political influence against PPP’s Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan. But the PML-N had yet confirmed to award the party ticket to Variyo family scion Ch Armughan Subhani for NA 113 Daska, Sialkot IV instead of giving them party tickets in Sialkot or Pasrur constituencies.

On the recommendations of PML-N leader Khawaja Muhammad Asif, the PML-N Punjab leadership has taken a big political twist at NA-113 by announcing the ticket Subhani and completely ignored Sahibzada Syed Murtaza Ameen and his father-in-law Sahibzada Syed Iftikharul Hassan Shah, former MNAs from this constituency. Now, the leadership has asked Syed Iftikharul Hassan Shah contest an election from PP-128 Daska.

Ch Armughan Subhani would be an “imported” candidate of PML-N in Daska constituency and his political rivals would be able to take advantage of this situation. Talking to the newsmen, Subhani said that though he would be an imported candidate there but he would obey the party directions in this regard.

Now seriously being ill, Abdul Sattar Variyo was unable to take part in political activities. Moreover Akhtar Ali Variyo’s elder son Khush Akhtar is also seriously ill and is in China for getting transplantation of his liver and kidneys.

Sialkot consists of five National Assembly seats, where the PML-N has announced to field those who were also the party candidates in 2008 general elections, except replacing a candidate in Daska constituency. The party has fielded again Khawaja Muhammad Asif in NA-110 Sialkot-I, Idrees Ahmed Bajwa in NA-111 Bajwat, Sialkot-II against Dr Firdous Ashiq who had defeated him with majority of votes in 2008 general elections, Rana Abdul Sattar in NA-112, Armughan Subhani in NA-113 and Zahid Hamid in NA 114 Pasrur, Sialkot-V for the upcoming general elections.

Khawaja Muhammad Asif, the four-times MNA from Sialkot, is now playing a role of “king maker” in Sialkot’s politics and PML-N provincial leadership has allotted the party tickets in Sialkot district  on his recommendations, said local people.