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Monday March 04, 2024

KEY ELECTORAL BATTLES ACROSS PAKISTAN

Stage is set for elections with several big shots, including former prime ministers, chief ministers, governors in the field

PML-N Supremo Nawaz Sharif (Left) and PTI leader Dr Yasmin Rashid. — x/pmln_org and Facebook/ DrYasmeenRashidOfficial
PML-N Supremo Nawaz Sharif (Left) and PTI leader Dr Yasmin Rashid. — x/pmln_org and Facebook/ DrYasmeenRashidOfficial

The stage is set for general elections in the country. Several big shots are in the field. Former prime ministers, chief ministers, governors, and ex-members of assemblies are out on the campaign trail to win the coveted slots. Tough contests are expected on several national and provincial assemblies’ seats.

Nawaz Sharif vs Dr Yasmeen Rashid

A tough fight is likely in NA-130 Lahore hometown constituency of Nawaz Sharif. This is considered a PMLN-secured seat. Mian Nawaz Sharif of PMLN, PTI-backed Dr Yasmeen Rashid, Iqbal Ahmad Khan of PPP, Khaleeq Ahmad Butt of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and Khurram Riaz of Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) are contesting for this constituency. Nawaz Sharif has served as Punjab Finance Minister, Prime Minister and Chief Minister. The voters of PTI in this constituency are in large number. Dr Yasmeen could not win from this constituency in 2018 elections. Mian Nawaz Sharif is also contesting election from Mansehra NA-15. PTI experienced politician Shahzada Gustapis Khan and Zargul Khan are his opponents.

Barrister Gohar Khan vs Sher Akbar Khan

Barrister Gohar Khan is contesting for NA-10 Bonir. His opponents in this constituency are Salaar Khan of PMLN, Sher Akbar of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Parliamentarians (PTIP), Baht Jehan Khan of JI, Abdur Rauf of ANP and Yousal Ali of PPP. Gohar Khan was recently nominated PTI Chairman. He was also PTI Chief Election Commissioner. In the past, he was affiliated with PPP. He joined PTI in July 2022. He contested 2008 elections on the platform of PPP. He was also part of Lawyers Movement. His opponent Sher Akbar Khan won the 2018 election on the ticket of PTI.

Asif Ali Zardari vs Sher Muhammad Rind

Asif Ali Zardari is contesting for NA-207, the seat of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto. PTI-backed Sarsar Sher Muhammad Rind Baloch and Saeed Ahmad of TLP are in the run for this constituency. This constituency is one of PPP safest constituencies. In 2018, Asif Ali Zardari won the election with a big margin of over one lakh votes against GDA candidate Sardar Sher Muhammad Rind. PPP has been the winner on this seat from 2002 to 2018 elections. Asif Ali Zardari and his sister former provincial minister Dr Azra Pejoho have been the winners.

Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman Vs Ali Amin Gandapur and Fazal Karim Kundi

On NA-44 Dera Ismael Khan, tough contest is likely between Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman of JUI, his traditional rival PTI-backed Ali Amin Gandapur and Fazal Karim Kundi of PPP. Yousaf Khan of JI is also contesting election from this constituency. Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman won from this constituency in the elections of 1988, 1993, 2002, 2008 and 2013. In 2002, he was the Opposition Leader. His sons Maulana Asad Mehmood and Asjid Mehmood are also contesting elections. Ali Amin Gandapur defeated Maulana Fazlin the last elections. Fazal Karim Kundi had been Deputy Speaker.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari vs Ata Tarar and Zaheer Abbas Khokhar

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is contesting the election for three National Assembly seats. These constituencies are NA-194 Larkana, NA-195 Shahdad Kot and NA-127 Lahore. In Larkana, both PPP and the religious parties have significantly votebank. Rashid Mehmood Somro of JUI, Ashiq Dhamra of JI are contesting election for this seat, while PTI-backed independent candidate Saifullah Abro withdrew in favour of Bilawal Bhutto Zardai. Bilawal defeated Rashid Somro from here in the last elections. For the NA-127 seat, Ata Tarar of PMLN and PTI local leader Zaheer Abbas are the opponents of Bilawal Bhutto.

Sirajul Haq vs Muhammad Bashir Khan

For NA-6 Lower Dir, JI ameer Sirajul Haq, PTI-backed Bashir Khan, Muhammad Hanif of PPP, Muhammad Sher Khan of JUI and Rouhallah Khan of PMLN are in the field. Sirajul Haq had been Nazim-e-Ala of Islami Jaamiat Tulba from 1988 to 1991, MPA in 2002 and 2013, and was elected Senator in 2015. He faced defeat in 2018 from Lower Dir. Bashir Khan of PTI won the seat. Bashir is associated with PTI since 1996. Would Sirajul Haq win from here, time will tell.

Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui vs Arsalan Khalid

For NA-248, MQM Convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, PTI-supported independent Arsalan Khalid, Muhammad Hassan Khan of PPP, Muhammad Babar Khan of JI and Muhammad Amjid Ali are the contestants. Khalid Siddiqui was the winner in 2013 and 2018 elections. He had been federal minister. Who will be the winner from this constituency of Central Karachi, time will tell. Khalid Siddiqui got the MQM groups united. It is hoped the MQM will play its important role again in the politics of Karachi.

Akhtar Mengal vs Nawabzada Mir Jamal Khan Raisani

Akhtar Mengal of Balochistan National Party-Mengal, Mir Jamal Khan Raisaini of PPP and Prince Ahmad Umarzai of Balochistan Awami Party are the main contestants for NA-264 Quetta. The nomination papers of Akhtar Mengal for this seat were rejected, but were later cleared. Akhtar Mengal had been member of Provincial Assembly four times from 1988 to 1997. He was Chief Minister in 1997. He got political asylum in England during the tenure of Pervaiz Musharraf. On March 25, 2013, he returned from UK to participate in the elections, but his party could win only two seats. He was elected MNA in 2018.

Pervaiz Khattak vs Syed Wahid Ali Shah and Ikhtiar Wali Khan

For NA-33 Nowshera, PTI-supported Wahid Ali Shah, Ikhtiar Wali Khan of PMLN, Hafiz Ejazul Haq of JUI, Khan Pervaiz of ANP, Enayatur Rehman of JI and former Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattat of PTIP are in the field. Pervaiz Khattak was member of District Council in 1983, won from the platform of Qaumi Watan Party in 2008, PTI MPA and Chief Minister in 2013. In 2018, he was Defence Minister. He is candidate for a National and Provincial Assembly seats. Liaquat Khattaq of JUI is facing his brother Pervaiz Khattaq.

Mian Muhammad Shehbaz vs Liaquat Baloch and Afzal Azim Pahat

Shehbaz Sharif of PMLN is contesting elections from NA-123 Lahore and NA-132 Kasur. For NA-132, PTI-backed Sardar Muhammad Hussain, Faqir Hussain of TLP and independent Ibtisam Elahi Zaheer are opposing Shehbaz Sharif. Rashid Khan of PMLN was the candidate in this constituency, but he asked Shehbaz to contest for the seat. Sardar Muhammad Hussain Dogar won this seat twice. Sardar Ashiq Dogar and Sardar Sharif Dogar from his family have been the members of assemblies. Ibtisam Elahi Zaheer is the son of well-known religious scholar Allama Ehsan Elahi Zaheer. On NA-123, Shebaz Sharif is facing Afzal Azim Pahat of PTI, Amjid Naeem of TLP and Liaquat Baloch of JI.

Maryam Nawaz Sharif vs Shahzad Farooq

PML-N senior vice-president Maryam Nawaz, PTI-backed Shehzad Farooq and PPP’s Iftikhar Shahid are the main candidates from NA-119. This constituency is considered to be a stronghold of PML-N, that is why this constituency has been chosen for Maryam Nawaz and she is contesting the National Assembly election from here for the first time. Maryam Nawaz had submitted papers from this constituency in 2018 as well, and was disqualified before the election. Shazad Farooq of Tehreek-e-Insaf is the brother of Ibad Farooq who was a ticket holder of PTI.

Sheikh Rashid Ahmad vs Hanif Abbasi

As in the past, in the current election also, politicians have a keen eye on this constituency. Among the main candidates are PML-N’s Hanif Abbasi Awami Muslim League’s Sheikh Rashid Ahmed and Shehryar Riaz of PTI. Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed was expecting that PTI would not field a candidate against him, but the PTI issued a ticket to former MPA Shehryar Riaz. Sheikh Rasheed of Awami Muslim League won from here in 2018 and 2013. PML-N’s Hanif Abbasi is hopeful of victory.

Yusuf Raza Gilani vs Ahmed Hussain Deharr

In NA-148 Multan, former Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani and PML-N candidate former MNA Ahmed Hussain Deharr and Tehreek-e-Insaf backed Barrister Taimur Altaf are in the run. Besides, Atif Imran of Jamaat-e-Islami and Malik Azhar of Tehreek-e-Labaik are also in the field. Yusuf Raza Gilani and his sons, Abdul Qadir Gilani and Syed Ali Musa Gilani, are also contesting elections for National Assembly seats.

Abdul Aleem Khan vs Ali Ijaz Buttar

Abdul Aleem Khan is the President of Istehkami-Pakistan Party and he is contesting elections from constituency 117 Lahore on seat adjustment withPML-N. Against him, PTI-backed independent candidate Ali Ijaz Butar, PPP’s Asif Hashmi are main candidates. Abdul Aleem Khan started his politics from the PMLQ platform during the era of former President Pervez Musharraf and was elected to the Punjab Assembly for the first time in 2002 and was also a provincial minister. In 2013, Aleem Khan contested the election on PTI ticket but could not succeed. Then in the 2015 by-election, he was defeat by PMLN’s Ayaz Sadiq. In 2018 too, he was defeated on the national seat but won from the provincial seat.

Jahangir Khan Tareen vs Aamir Dogar

Jahangir Khan Tareen, the founder of IPP, is fighting action from National Assembly NA-149 Multan and NA-155 Lodhran. Against him on the Multan seat is Malik Amir Dogar with the support of PTI. A tough fight is expected here. From NA 155 Lodhran, Jahangir Tareen is competing with Siddique Baloch. Muhammad Iqbal Shah was in the field with the support of PTI, but he has announced his withdrawal from the election. According to the news, independent candidate Ifat Tahira has been nominated by PTI from here.

Dr. Farooq Sattar vs Khurram Sher Zaman

NA 241 Karachi: MQM’s Dr. Farooq Sattar, PPP’s Mirza Akhtar Baig, PTI-backed independent and PTI Karachi President Khurram Sher Zaman, Tehreek-e-Labaik’s Muhammad Waseem are contesting the election. Due to the unity of MQM factions and difficulties for PTI, senior deputy of MQM-Pakistan Farooq Sattar is running a full election campaign this time. Khurram Sher Zaman was the President of PTI Karachi and became an MPA in 2018.

Hafiz Naeemur Rahman vs Syed Aminul Haq

From NA 246 Karachi West, Syed Aminul Haq of MQM, Hafiz Naeemur Rehman of Jamaat-e-Islami and Malik Arif Awan, an independent candidate supported by the PTI are in the field. Hafiz Naeemur Rehman is the Ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami Karachi. Hailing from a middle class family of Hyderabad, he joined Islami Jamiat-e-Talaaba in 1988. MQM’s Aminul Haq is former Federal Minister of Science and Technology.

Aftab Sherpao vs Anwar Taj

From NA 24 Charsadda, former Chief Minister and Chairman Qaumi Watan Party Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao, Mufti Gohar Ali JUI, Irfan Ali ANP, former MNA Anwar Taj, independent with the support of PTI, Farrukh Khan Advocate PMLN, Shazia Tehmash PPP are in the run while Haji Samiullah is contesting on Jamaat-e-Islami ticket. Aftab Sherpao has been a Member of the National Assembly for several times and a two-time Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Khawaja Asif vs Rehana Dar

Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Rehana Imtiaz, independent, backed by PTI, Khawaja Awais Mushtaq from PPP, Aam Mahmood Butt from Jamaat-e-Islami are taking part in the election. Khawaja Asif has been Member of National Assembly 6 times. He was first elected to the Senate in 1991. In 2018, he won by a margin of only 1000 votes over his opponent Usman Dar. This time, after the difficulties faced by Usman Dar and Umar Dar, Rehana Imtiaz Dar is in the field. Her husband Imtiazuddin Dar was Tehsil Nazim Sialkot.

Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan vs Ghulam Sarwar Khan

This constituency belongs to traditional rivals Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and Ghulam Sarwar Khan. After seat adjustment of PMLN and IPP on this seat, the former ticket holder of PMLN Barrister Aqeel has entered the field as an independent. Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan is independent and Ghulam Sarwar Khan is a candidate from IPP. In 2018, Ghulam Sarwar Khan defeated independent candidate Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on a PTI ticket from this constituency. In 2013 too, Ghulam Sarwar Khan defeated Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.

Asad Qaiser vs Khanzada Shahnawaz Khan

Former National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, backed by PTI, is an independent candidate for NA-19 Swabi. Khanzada Shahnawaz Khan from ANP, Fazal Rabi from JUI, Muhammad Bilal Khan Sherpao from PPP and Muhammad Shiraz Khan from PMLN are important candidates. Asad Qaiser is running a full-election campaign in the constituency. In 2013, Asad Qaiser was a member of the provincial assembly. In 2018, he was the Speaker of the National Assembly. It is to be seen whether he will be able to succeed as an independent candidate from this constituency or not.

Rana Sanaullah Khan vs Sameera Nisar Jat

From NA-100 Faisalabad, PMLN has won former interior minister Rana Sanaullah Khan. Sameera Nisar Jat enjoys PTI support, PPP’s Sidra Saeed Bandisha, Jamaat-e-Islami’s Abrar Hussain and Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan’s Azeem Randhawa are in the run. Sameer Nisar Jat is the daughter of multiple time MNA Chaudhary Ilyas Jat and is a candidate of PTI. Sidra Saeed Bandisha is niece of Chaudhary Ilyas. In 2018, Rana Sanaullah Khan defeated PTI’s Dr. Nisar Jat.

Sadaruddin Shah Rashidi vs Syed Fazal Ali Shah Jilani

From NA 203, Syed Fazal Ali Shah Jilani from PPP, Pir Sadruddin Shah Rashidi of GDA and Abdul Rahman of TLP are candidates. Pir Sadruddin Shah Rashidi is the younger brother of incumbent Pir Pagara Sibghatullah Shah. He has been elected MNA and MPA from different constituencies of Khairpur. In 2013, he was an MNA and Federal Minister. In 2018, Peer Fazal Ali Shah of PPP defeated him. Pir Fazal Ali Shah Jilani was elected MNA four times.

Mahmood Khan Achakzai vs Maulana Salahuddin

NA 266: Mahmood Khan Achakzai of Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party, Abdul Khaliq of PMLN, Nazar Mohammad of PPP, Salahuddin of Jamiat Ulema Islam, Sharafatuddin of Jamaat-e-Islami and Ismatullah Khan backed by PTI are candidates. The main contest in this constituency is between JUI’s Salahuddin and Mahmood Khan Achakzai. Mehmood Khan Achakzai became MNA four times. Salahuddin defeated Achakzai in 2018.

Khawaja Saad Rafiq vs Sardar Latif Khosa

From NA-122 Lahore, an important contest is expected between former Governor Latif Khosa, an independent candidate supported by PTI. PMLN’s Khawaja Saad Rafiq is in the field. Among other candidates, Dr. Zeba of Jamaat-e-Islami and Hafiz Talha Saeed, son of Hafiz Saeed, from Central Muslim League are also in the fray. From here, Saad Rafiq was elected Member of the National Assembly several times.

Omar Ayub Khan vs Babar Nawaz Khan

PTI-backed independent candidate Omar Ayub Khan from NA-18 Haripur, Jamaat-e-Islami’s Ghazan Iqbal Khan Tarin Advocate, JUI’s Maulana Ayub Siddiqui, Muslim League-N’s Babar Nawaz Khan are the main candidates. The Secretary General of PTI, former Federal Minister Omar Ayub Khan and Babar Nawaz Khan have been Members of the National Assembly. Babar Nawaz Khan’s father Akhtar Nawaz Khan was a minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, who was killed.

Engineer Ameer Muqam vs Dr. Amjad

PMLN Khyber Pakhtunkhwa President Amir Muqam is contesting the election from NA-11 and NA-2 constituencies. From NA-11 Shangla independent candidate, Fareen Khan supported by PTI and PPP’s Muhammad Alam Khan are also in the fray. From Swat constituency, Dr. Amjad supported by PTI is contesting against Ameer Muqam, while PPP leader and former MNA Dr. Haider Ali Khan, ANP’s former provincial minister Muhammad Ayub Khan, Jamaat-e-Islami’s Naveed Iqbal, JUIF’s candidate Maulana Abdul Ghafoor are also contesting.

Shahzain Bugti vs Mir Dostin Khan Domki

Shahzain Bugti of Jamhoori Watan Party is Nawab Akbar Bugti’s grandson. He is contesting elections for NA-253. Mir Dostin Khan Domki is contesting on the ticket of PMLN. In the past, both contested elections from separate constituencies, but this time they are contesting from the same constituency. Both have already been MNAs. Mir Dostin Domki is also the brother of the caretaker Chief Minister of Balochistan. Shahzain Bugti was also the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister. He was elected Member of National Assembly in 2018.