SIALKOT -  Former federal information minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan has defected from the PPP to Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI).

Her decision has worried not only the PPP leaders but also Chaudhry Ameer Hussain, former PML-Q backed speaker of National Assembly, who had joined the PTI before the 2013 General Elections.

Earlier, Dr Firdous had said that she had not yet joined the PTI and her visit to the residence of local PTI leaders Umer Dar and Usman Dar in Sialkot was just a courtesy visit and nothing more. The prevailing political scenario of Sialkot district, the situation has started ringing alarm bells for the local PTI leaders in NA 111, Bajwat constituency including Chaudhry Ameer Hussain, local observers said.

They further said that the former PPP stalwart would be a strong candidate of PTI in the constituency as its candidate instead of Chaudhry Ameer Hussain for upcoming 2018 General Elections. They added that Dr Firdous would be in very strong position to give very tough time to the PML-N’s candidate in the constituency in the 2018 general elections.

However, Chaudhry Ameer has averted to give any comment on the prevailing political scenario of Sialkot district following the joining of PTI by Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan.  She had started her political carrier after being elected as MNA on the reserved seat from the PML-Q platform. Later, she joined PPP before the 2008 general elections by leaving the PML-Q. She was elected as MNA from her native constituency by defeating the PML-Q’s strong candidate Ameer Hussain, who was then PML-Q-backed speaker of National Assembly.

She contested the 2013 general elections as PPP candidate and was defeated by the PML-N’s strong candidate Ch Armughan Subhani.

ANTI-FLOOD DRILL: The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) conducted anti-flood drill in River Chenab at Head Marala-Sialkot.

The rescuers and divers showed their skills and capabilities to avert the recurring flood threats and how to combat the flood. Deputy Commissioner Dr Asif Tufail, ADC (Revenue) Sialkot Dr Umer Sher Chattha, District Emergency Officer Sialkot Syed Kamal Abid, the senior journalists and the district heads of the government departments witnessed the mock flood-fighting exercise.

On the occasion, the rescuers also provided the emergency relief infrastructural help to the mock flood victims during the mock flood exercise, proving that Rescue 1122 is alert and ready to combat any flood eventuality.

The DC told newsmen here today that the Sialkot district has been divided into 22 sectors to avert the recurring flood threats under a foolproof flood protection plan. DC added that as many as 33 flood relief centers in Sialkot district’s all the four Sialkot, Daska, Sambrial and Pasrur tehsils.