Javed Hashmi Steps Back, Endorses PTI Candidate Aamir Dogar
In a significant political development, Javed Hashmi, a seasoned politician, declared on Monday his withdrawal from the upcoming election race in support of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-backed candidate Aamir Dogar. Dogar is set to contest the February 8 general election in the NA-149 constituency.
Hashmi, who had initially planned to run as an independent candidate in the Multan constituency, made the announcement on X (formerly Twitter), stating, “I am throwing my political weight behind the Tehreek-e-Insaf and Imran Khan and withdrawing from the elections.”
Notably, Hashmi has a history with both PTI and its rival Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). He had previously won from NA-149 in 2008 on the PML-N’s ticket and in 2013 on the PTI ticket. However, after leaving PTI, he lost to Aamir Dogar in a by-election in 2014. In 2018, Hashmi opted not to run in the elections.
Despite his close ties with PML-N, Hashmi expressed his support for PTI founder Imran Khan during challenging times for Khan and his party. He mentioned standing by Nawaz Sharif when Imran Khan was considered the ‘blue-eyed.’
Hashmi also addressed the ongoing cipher case against top PTI leaders, Imran Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi, stating that the case was baseless. He vouched for Qureshi’s character, asserting, “I know Shah Mahmood Qureshi; he’s not a traitor.” Both Khan and Qureshi are currently incarcerated in connection with the cipher case, which alleges the political use of a secret document.
Turning his attention to Nawaz Sharif, Hashmi criticized the compromises made to attain power, expressing concern about the prevailing notion of might is right in Pakistan. He lamented the unresolved issues faced by the people, acknowledging his inability to provide answers.
The PTI, founded by Imran Khan, experienced a rise to power in 2018 but faced a setback with a no-confidence move in April 2022, leading to its removal from the center. Despite these challenges, the party remains committed to participating in the upcoming elections without its iconic ‘bat’ symbol, which was taken away. All PTI candidates will now run with different symbols.