Presidential election: SIC fields Achakzai against Zardari

ANP announces to support Asif Zardari in presidential election n Sindh CM submits Zardari’s nomination papers

Bilawal calls for a new charter of national reconciliation.

ISLAMABAD/KARACHI  -  Asif Ali Zardari, the joint candidate of PPP and the PML-N, and Sunni Ittehad Council’s candidate Mahmood Khan Achakzai are vying for the office of President.

Their nomination papers were filed on Saturday for the presidential elections to be held on March 9. The scrutiny of the nomination papers will be held on Monday. The president is elected by an electoral college comprising members of the Senate, National Assembly and the four provincial assem­blies. Voting is held through a secret ballot.

Sindh Chief Minister (CM), Syed Murad Ali Shah on Satur­day submitted the nomination papers of Asif Ali Zardari for the presidential elections to the Sindh High Court Chief Justice.

Syed Murad Ali Shah along with Members of Provincial As­sembly (MPAs) Faryal Talpur, Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, Sharjeel Inaam Memon and others reached the High Court of Sindh and submit­ted nomination papers of Asif Ali Zardari for the election of the President of Pakistan to Chief Justice Sindh High Court Justice Aqeel Abbassi, who is the pre­siding officer for the presiden­tial election.

Syed Murad Ali Shah has pro­posed while Syed Nasir Shah seconded the nomination pa­pers of Asif Ali Zardari for pres­idential elections to be held on March 09, 2024.

While talking to media after submitting nomination papers, CM Sindh said Pakistan Peo­ple’s Party (PPP) will request all parties including MQM- Paki­stan to vote for Asif Ali Zardari in the Presidential election. He said that the party has request­ed MQM-P members to vote for PPP’s candidates for the election of speaker and deputy Speak­er election. Replying to a ques­tion regarding MQM’s demand for amendment in Local Govern­ment Act, Shah said that in Sindh, Local Bodies were already pow­erful, MQM might have demand­ed local government powers for Punjab.

He said that PPP will approach legal forums for its grievances regarding polls. 

The scrutiny of the nomina­tion papers would be conducted on March 4 at Islamabad while election is scheduled on March 09, 2024.

A delegation led by President Awami National Party Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Aimal Wali Khan called on former President of Pakistan and President Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians, Asif Ali Zardari at Zardari House here Saturday. 

Asif Zardari and Aimal Wali Khan discussed the current po­litical situation. The ANP has an­nounced its support for Pres­ident Asif Ali Zardari in the Presidential election scheduled for March 9. He expressed his gratitude to the ANP leadership for their support in the Presi­dential election.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhut­to-Zardari on Saturday said his party will work with all political groups, both inside and outside the provincial assembly, to solve Balochistan’s problems.

Speaking to the media along­side the newly-elected Chief Minister of Balochistan, Mir Sar­fraz Bugti, and leaders of coa­lition parties in the provincial government, he expressed that the challenges facing Baloch­istan are intricate, making it dif­ficult for any single party to ad­dress them alone.

He emphasized the need of the having consensus on a new char­ter of national reconciliation to address the issue and put the country on the path of develop­ment.

Bilawal said the provincial re­sources would be utilized to ensure the implementation of economic program in order to provide relief to the public as the PPP is forming government is Sindh and Balochistan.

He said the PPP is committed to resolving the multifaceted challenges faced by Balochistan.

Expressing concern for the re­cent damages in Gwadar due to heavy downpour, Bilawal re­quested Chief Minister Bugti to make it his first official visit. He also pledged to arrange relief ef­forts for the affected population.

Bilawal affirmed the party’s commitment to fighting extrem­ists in accordance with the Na­tional Action Plan. 

Referring to the PPP’s his­torical stance on terrorism, he mentioned the efforts made in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s Swat and Waziristan regions, vow­ing to apply a similar approach in Balochistan. Bilawal also ad­dressed the contentious prob­lem of missing persons, partic­ularly prevalent in Balochistan. 

Proposing the formation of a parliamentary committee based on the party’s conciliation poli­cy, he invited all political parties to collaborate in resolving this issue collectively.

He expressed gratitude to the political parties in parliament for not opposing Chief Minis­ter Sarfaraz Bugti’s election, ex­pressing confidence that the chief minister would address concerns and issues in good faith. Pakistan Tehreek-e-In­saf (PTI)-backed Sunni Itte­had Council (SIC) on Saturday surprised many by nominating Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Par­ty (PMAP) chief Mahmood Khan Achakzai as its candidate for the coveted office of President.

The announcement was made after incarcerated PTI found­er and former prime minister Imran Khan endorsed his nom­ination. PTI leaders including Sardar Latif Khosa and Asad Qa­iser also submitted his nomi­nation papers in the Islamabad High Court.

The move gave an opportu­nity to the opponents of PTI to censure the party leader Khan who had been criticizing Achakzai in the past in public rallies. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Khawa­ja Muhammad Asif said that PTI “changed its brand” by nominat­ing Achakzai – a nationalist lead­er from Balochistan.

However, PTI leader Ali Mu­hammad Khan dubbed the nom­ination of Achakzai as a “very strong message of national uni­ty” from the jailed ex-premier Khan that the largest party of the country has picked a presi­dential candidate from Baloch­istan – a deprived province.

“It is Imran Khan who is mix­ing Pashtun with Punjabi, Ba­loch with Sindhi and Sindhi with Urdu-speaking and … ,” he wrote in a post on X.

On the other hand, the rul­ing alliance in the centre led by PML-N and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has nominated Asif Ali Zardari as its candidate for the slot of President. PPP lead­er Farooq H. Naek submitted his nomination papers in the Islam­abad High Court.

The polling for the election of the President is scheduled to take place on March 9 at the Par­liament House in Islamabad and the four provincial assemblies.

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