PTI senior leader and former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi Wednesday claimed that his own party defeated him in the election of Punjab Assembly’s PP-217 constituency during the 2018 general elections. “It was my own party that conspired against me in the 2018 elections,” he said while addressing a public gathering in connection with the upcoming by-poll in Multan. Qureshi said he was speaking openly and had also told Imran Khan that the situation in Punjab would not be as it was today if Shah Mahmood had been an MPA from here. “If you do not have this way of thinking, then July 17 – date for the by-election- will also pass and it will not make any difference. The people of PP-217 wake up what difference did it make to me I became the foreign minister but it made a difference for you, Multan and South Punjab,” he remarked. Qureshi said people had asked him not to field his son Zain Qureshi in the by-election as a defeat of party’s vice chairman would be ‘insulting’. “I said no, some wars are not fought for victory or defeat,” he added, says a news report. Punjab is going into by-elections on 20 provincial assembly seats next month after 20 PTI lawmakers were de-seated by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on court orders for voting against the party line in the election of Hamza Shehbaz as the chief minister in April. Qureshi had earlier accused the Punjab government of violating the election code of conduct in the upcoming by-polls in the province, and put a question mark on the performance of the election authorities. Qureshi said the ECP was constitutionally mandated to hold transparent elections, but now people’s confidence in the polls supervisor was diminishing. This election will determine the future of Hamza Shehbaz, so he will do everything possible to save his chief ministership. The Punjab government is currently trying to manage the election,” Qureshi alleged. “I see the attitude of the Punjab government. They will affect the credibility of the Election Commission. If you lose credibility, the nation will not recognize the results,” he warned. The by-polls will be held on PP-7, PP-83, PP-90, PP-97, PP-125, PP-127, PP-140, PP-158, PP-167, PP-168, PP-170, PP-202, PP-217, PP-224, PP-228, PP-237, PP-272, PP-273, PP-282 Layyah and PP-288.