ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has decided to award party ticket for Islamabad’s National Assembly constituency (NA-53) to its local leader and leader of the opposition in the Municipal Corporation Islamabad (MCI) Ali Nawaz Awan.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, the other day, held a meeting of the senior party leadership to decide party tickets in those constituencies of National Assembly and provincial assemblies that were vacated by PTI lawmakers because of their victory on more than one seats in July 25 election.

Chief Whip of PTI in the National Assembly Malik Aamir Dogar informed The Nation that PTI has given a go-ahead to Ali Nawaz Awan, the chairman of Islamabad’s one of the union councils,  to contest by-election from NA-53. The NA-53, one of the three constituencies of the federal capital, was vacated by Prime Minister Imran Khan himself. PTI so far has not made any formal announcement in this regard.

NA-53 has remained a bone of contention between the local leadership of PTI on the award of ticket. Before July 25 election, the senior party had first decided to award ticket to Aamir Mehmood Kayani, a close aide to PM Imran Khan but the local leaders including Chaudhry Ilyas Mehrban and Ali Nawaz Awan had objected over the decision. Later, Chairman PTI Imran Khan had decided to contest election himself from that constituency. Before general election, Ilyas Mehrban was also among the aspirant of ticket from NA-53 as he had contested the 2013 general election from the same constituency (old NA-49) against PML-N’s Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry and had succeeded to get sizeable number of votes though he lost the election.

Amir Dogar said that parliamentary board of PTI that met the other day under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Imran Khan had decided to hold opinion surveys in two NA constituencies of Lahore and Faisalabad for award of tickets. He said that it had been decided that PTI would award ticket to Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed’s nephew for NA-60 (Rawalpindi) and similarly, the ticket for NA-56 (Attock) would go to the family of Major (Retd) Tahir Sadiq who had vacated the seat.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Media Iftikhar Durrani told The Nation that the party had yet to announce tickets. He said that a meeting of PTI under the chair of PM Imran Khan had discussed the issue of award of tickets but a final decision has yet to be made. He said that the meeting had decided that opinion surveys would be held in those constituencies where competition among the ticket aspirants would be tough and final decision would be taken in the light of the result of survey.

According to an announcement of PTI, by-Election on 11 seats of National Assembly is scheduled to be held on October 14. Among 11 NA seats, six were vacated by PTI, two by Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid-e-Azam (PML-Q) and one by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). The election on two NA-seats, NA-60 (Rawalpindi) and NA-103 (Faisalabad) had postponed. The election of NA-60 was postponed because of the conviction of Hanif Abbasi, a candidate while of NA-103 was postponed due to the death of a candidate.

Imran Khan had won five National Assembly seats as a result of July 25 election including NA-35 (Bannu), NA-53 (Islamabad), NA-95 (Mianwali), NA-131 (Lahore) and NA-243 (Karachi). He has retained NA-95, his home constituency. PTI’s Ghulam Sarwar Khan has vacated NA-63 as he had simultaneously won NA-59 and NA-63. Similarly, PTI’s Major (Retd) Tahir Sadiq had vacated won NA-55 (Attock-I) and NA-56 (Attock-II). PML-Q’s Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi has vacated two NA seats, one of Chakwal (NA-65) and other of Gujrat (NA-69). PML-N’s Muhammad Hamza Shehbaz Sharif has vacated NA-124 (Lahore) because he has retained the provincial assembly seat.