Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is all set to launch its election campaign for Punjab tomorrow, according to PTI Secretary General Asad Umar. Despite uncertainty over the election schedule, the party has finalized a list of 297 candidates after PTI Chairman Imran Khan personally interviewed all candidates from April 6 to 18 to ensure merit in awarding party tickets. However, the ticket allotment has faced criticism from within the party, leading to the formation of a four-member committee to address objections.
The committee includes Musaddiq Abbasi, Ijaz Chaudhary, Rai Hassan Nawaz, and Aoon Abbas, but due to backlash from party workers and supporters, Khan is reportedly considering adding some senior members to decide on the appeals regarding ticket distribution.
The uncertainty surrounding the elections is due to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) waiting for funds from the federal government to conduct the elections. The Supreme Court had ordered the ECP to hold elections in Punjab on May 14 but the government has refused to release funds for the polls, citing rejection by Parliament. The defense ministry has also declined to provide security for the polls due to the security situation. The ministry had filed a petition in the Supreme Court asking it to withdraw its order to hold polls on May 14, but the three-member bench refused to do so.
Despite these uncertainties, PTI is determined to launch its election campaign in Punjab tomorrow. “They (PDM) may not be ready, but we are ready,” tweeted Asad Umar.