Almost all put their weight behind Sadiq

by Naveed Butt

ISLAMABAD: The Federally Administered Tribal Areas’ (FATA) candidate Syed Ghazi Gulab Jamal has withdrew in favour of ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidate Sardar Ayaz Sadiq for the speakership of National Assembly.

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Pakistan Muslim League (PMl-Q), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) and other parties except Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) would support PML-N candidate Sadiq.

Immediately after submitting nomination papers on Sunday, Ayaz Sadiq went to GG Jamal’s residence where he held a meeting with FATA Parliamentarians and requested them to withdraw their candidate in his favour.

Shah Jee Gul Afridi, Syed Ghazi Gulab Jamal, Sajid Hussain Turi and others were also present in the meeting.

During the meeting, FATA members demanded of the government to introduce political reforms in FATA in exchange of their withdrawal from the election.

Talking to media after the meeting, Ayaz Sadiq said that FATA members didn’t demand any chairmanship or ministry but government support to FATA reforms bill.

Afterward, the government accepted the demand of FATA Parliamentarians and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif constituted a 5-member committee led by Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz for the purpose of FATA reforms.

In this regard, a notification has been issued from Prime Minister’s Secretariat. The committee comprises the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Sardar Mehtab Ahmad Khan, Federal Minister for States and Frontier Regions Lieutenant General (R) Abdul Qadir Baloch, MNA Zahid Hamid and National Security Adviser (NSA) Lieutenant General Nasir Janjua (retd).

After accepting the demands of FATA members, Syed Ghazi Gulab Jamal announced that he was withdrawing in favour of Sardar Ayaz Sadiq.

Talking to media, Ghazi Gulab Jamal expressed the hope that the government would resolve issues pertaining to FATA.

Meanwhile, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) also announced its support to PML-N candidate Sardar Ayaz Sadiq.

Sadiq also met an MQM delegation at Parliament Lodges on Sunday after submitting his nomination paper and sought MQM MNAs’ support to his candidature.

Jamaat-e-Islami has also decided to vote for PML-N candidate Sadiq.

Sahibzada Tariqullah vowed his party’s support to Sadiq in a meeting with the latter in Islamabad on Sunday.

According to the sources, Sadiq also telephoned the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Q) leadership and Qaumi Watan Party chief Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao. They said that PML-Q and Sherpao’s party had also assured him their support.

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Pervaiz Rashid told media persons that it was PTI candidate Shafqat Mahmood to contest the election of speakership was his constitutional right. However, he added, there existed a broad consensus in the house of the candidature of Sadiq.

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