LAHORE - Did the CIA SP played any role in persuading a PTI candidate from Union Council 258 to withdraw his candidature in favour of the PML-N contender?

The question arose after media reports shown pictures of SP CIA Umer Virk, DIG Shafiq Gujjar and SSP Suhail Sukhera with PTI candidate taking oath on Quran for withdrawing his candidature in favour of the PML-N runner.

However, SP CIA claimed the picture shown on TV channels was taken on the event of a truce meeting between the two warring parties and had no connection with PTI candidate for Union Council 258.

Shafqat Mehmood, PTI City chapter organiser when contacted said the media was showing everything relating to Union Council 258. SP CIA Umer Virk, DIG Shafiq Gujjar and SSP Suhail Sukhera can be seen in the picture taking oath from his party candidate.

Asked why there was no covering candidate in Union Council 258, 107 and 261, he said, “There should be covering candidates. I am looking into the matter what went wrong.”

Two PTI candidates from Union Council 107 and 261 withdrew their candidatures in favour of PML-N contenders the other day. The development irked the PTI chairman to the extent that he called the Punjab and City chapter organizer to give him report on most urgent basis.

Political observers believe launching no covering candidates show political inexperience on the part of the PTI. Sarwar may be a big political shot in UK politics but it seems he is failing to deal with the matters of a Pakistani political party.

Shafqat Mehmood is a former bureaucrat and has no political experience but he is heading the party in the provincial capital believed to be the stronghold of the PML-N. There should be a seasoned politician dealing with party matters of Lahore.

However Shafqat said, “I am the organizer of the party in Lahore but I cannot monitor the 274 Union Councils. Party has devolved the powers of selecting candidates to the level of MPAs of the concerned Union Councils.”

Party insiders said wrong choice of candidates and lack of experience dealing with traditional political techniques and infighting causing the party serious damages. No more groups in the party are just the claims of some senior party leaders.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Sunday demanded deployment of Army troops and Rangers personnel to supervise the by-elections and local bodies’ polls.

Imran Khan’s party had already demanded deputation of Rangers but calling for Army troops to oversee the elections is a new demand.

PTI Punjab organizer, Chaudhary Sarwar addressing public meetings in connection with NA-122 and PP-147 by-polls at Garhi Shahu and Samanabad demanded deputation of Army troops and Rangers to avoid any untoward incident during by-polls and local elections.

He warned the ECP would be responsible if any unpleasant event took place in case of non-deployment of regular and para-military troops for election duty.