PTI fields Pervez Musharraf’s loyalists of the past
Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) has opted for a multitude of former federal and provincial ministers of Pervez Musharraf’s era or their sons for the May 11 electoral match.
A close look at the who’s who of such figures fielded by the PTI makes an instructive reading.
Ghulam Sarwar Khan of Pind Nuasheri Taxila has competed for each and every election since 1985 from NA-53 Rawalpindi. He was health minister in the Manzoor Wattoo-Nakai governments in 1994-1996. He was affiliated with Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) for decades, and was considered part of the Aftab Sherpao group within this party. He fought the 2002 elections as an independent candidate with famous election symbol of Chand Tara. After reaching the National Assembly, he joined the PML-Q, was made labour minister and became a close associate of Chaudhrys of Gujrat and Musharraf.
Musharraf and Chaudhrys patronized him in the hope to put a formidable challenge to his traditional rival Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan of the PML-N. In the 2008 polls, he lost with a huge margin to him from the Taxilla-Wah constituency of Rawalpindi. This time around, the PTI awarded its ticket to him against his usual opponent.
The PTI has also sponsored Malik Amin Aslam belonging to the famous political family of Attock, called the Maliks of Shamsabad. His grandfather Malik Akram founded the group. His father Malik Aslam vied for every election from the PPP platform. His uncle Malik Qasim used to fight polls from Bhawalnagar. Amin Aslam is son-in-law of PML-N leader Chaudhry Ahmad Saeed, the owner of famous Servis Industries, who is elder brother of PPP stalwart Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar. Amin Aslam was minister in the Shaukat Aziz cabinet and ran for the 2008 elections on the PML-Q ticket from NA-57 Attock and lost to PML-N’s Sheikh Aftab.
Malik Anwar, popularly known as Colonel Anwar, who was minister for cooperatives in the Pervez Elahi cabinet in 2002-2007, is vying for PP-18 Pindigheb (Attock) on the PTI ticket. He lost the 2008 elections to PPP’s Nawabzada Khurrum. Col Anwar belongs to the famous Malik clan of Pindigheb.
Sibtain Khan, running for PP-46 Mianwali constituency from the PTI platform, was minister for mines and minerals in the Pervez Elahi cabinet. He lost to PML-N’s Feroz Joyia in 2008. It was during his incumbency in 2009 that the Lahore High Court declared as illegal the whole transaction of awarding the famous iron ore mines in Chiniot to a foreign company.
Musharraf’s famed foreign minister Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri is fighting on the PTI ticket for his traditional National Assembly seat from Kasur.
Similarly, Musharraf’s railways minister Ishaq Khakwani is vying for a National Assembly seat from Vehari on the PTI platform.
Afzal Sindhu, who was minister in the Gilani cabinet, is trying his luck under the PTI sponsorship from Haroonabad against Ejazul Haq.
Senior PTI leader Jehangir Tareen, who is running from Lodhran, was advisor to Shahbaz Sharif and Pervez Elahi, when they were chief ministers, and then industries minister during Musharraf’s era. He resigned his Rahim Yar Khan National Assembly seat after he fell out with his brother-in-law, the present Punjab governor.
Ajmal Cheema, a multi-billionaire from Sialkot, who has a sprawling business in the United States, was minister in the PML-Q government in 2002. He is aspiring for a National Assembly seat from Sialkot on the PTI ticket.
Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who was minister in the cabinets of Nawaz Sharif, Benazir Bhutto and Gilani is competing for two National Assembly from Multan and Sindh under the PTI umbrella.
Former PPP Senator Shafqat Mehmood, who was minister in Musharraf’s cabinet, is testing his electoral politics for the first time from Model Town Lahore on the PTI ticket.
Former minister in the 1996 Wattoo cabinet Shahnawaz Cheema has got the PTI sponsorship for the National Assembly from Wazirabad against the son of prominent Leaguer Hamid Nasir Chattha and PML-N candidate Justice (R) Iftikhar Cheema.
Aslam Iqbal, who is the running mate of Imran Khan in NA-122 Lahore as the candidate for a Punjab assembly seat, was minister in the Pervez Elahi cabinet. PTI s chief campaigner in Lahore Aleem Khan was minister for information technology in the same cabinet.
Akhtar Hussain Rizvi from Sialkot, who was labour minister in Pervez Elahi’s cabinet, is also fighting on the PTI ticket for the Pasroor National Assembly against PML-N’s Zahid Hamid. Another PTI nominee for a National Assembly seat in Khanewal, Hussain Jahenian Gardezi, was minister in Pervez Elahi’s government.
Humair Rokhari, son of Gul Hameed Rokari of Mianwali, is contesting on the PML-N ticket for NA-72. Gul Hamid was minister for uncountable times in the cabinets of Nawaz Sharif and Pervez Elahi.
Amjad Khan is son of famous Dr Sher Afgan, who was twice elected to the National Assembly from NA-72 Mianwali and was federal minister and most ardent supporter of Musharraf in the 2002 National Assembly. The young man lost to PML-N’s Humair Rokhari in 2008. Amjad Khan is now the PTI candidate from Mianwali. In 2002, Dr Sher Afgan hit the headlines when he moved the Election Commission of Pakistan for Imran Khan’s disqualification under articles 62 and 63.
Amjad Khan was picked up after ignoring Inamullah Niazi, a close relative of Imran Khan and aggressive PTI spokesman, which has estranged his brothers too much.
Waqas Wasi, son of the famous Wasi Zafar, who was law minister in the Musharraf’s regime and gained prominence for his off-the-cuff remarks in TV talk shows, is in the electoral arena as the PTI candidate from Jaranwala, Faisalabad.
Husnain Iqbal, son of Zafar Iqbal Warraich from Rahim Yar Khan, is a Punjab Assembly candidate from the PTI. Zafar Iqbal was minister of state for interior in the Musharraf government. He vied for the 2008 elections on the PPP ticket and won. This time he has fielded his son from a different political platform.
Nauraiz Shakoor, a scion of Rajput family from Sahiwal, was minister for oil and gas in the Musharraf government. His son is vying for a National Assembly seat in Sahiwal on the PTI ticket against PML-N’s Pir Imran Shah, who had originally ignited the implication of Abdul Qadir Gilani, son of Yusuf Raza Gilani, in the Haj corruption scandal.
Nawabzada Mansoor Ali Khan, son of legendary Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan, who was minister in the Wattoo cabinet, is trying his luck for a National Assembly seat in Muzaffargarh on the PTI ticket.
Hamad Azhar, son of former Punjab governor Mian Azhar, is a PTI nominee from Lahore. Apart from being a close associate of Nawaz Sharif, Mian Azhar was part of the kitchen cabinet of Musharraf and Chaudhrys of Gujrat after the 1999 coup.