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May 31, 2018

Bright chances for PTI in Rajanpur


May 31, 2018

LAHORE: So far Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is in strongest position to win major chunk of seats in District Rajanpur as three main groups, including Legharis, Mazaris and Dareshak, are siding with the party.

Sardar Jaffer Leghari, three-time consecutive winner of previous NA-174, Rajanpur 1, has recently joined PTI along with his supporters whereas with the merger of Junoobi Punjab Sooba Mahaz into Tehreek-e-Insaf the group of Sardar Balakh Sher Mazari is also the part of Imran Khan’s bandwagon. The group of former MNA, provincial minister and a many times MPA Sardar Nasar Ullah Dareshak has already been standing with PTI which means that Tehreek-e-Insaf with plenty of support from the local tribal elders will have no problem in combating PML-N.

PML-N at the moment is relying on three noted groups of the areas that include the one of Deputy Speaker Punjab Assembly Sardar Sher Ali Gorchani, other of Dr Hafeez-ur-Rehman Dareshak and that of MPA Sardar Atif Mazari.

PPP, which won the major chunk of seats from this district in 2008, seems eliminated from the political scene as two noted figures, including its former MNA Dost Mazari, former MPA Athar Gorchani, are in PTI fold now so the contest at the moment is between PML-N and PTI.

Rajanpur, a district of Southern belt of Punjab, comprises of three tehsils, including Rajanpur, Jampur and Rojhan. The noted political figures from this district include former caretaker Prime Minister Sardar Balakh Sher Mazari, former parliamentarian Sardar Ashiq Mazari, former Deputy Speaker Punjab Assembly Sardar Shaukat Mazari, seasoned politicians like Sardar Nasar Ullah Dareshak, sitting PTI MNA Dr Shireen Mazari, sitting Deputy Speaker of the Punjab Assembly Sardar Sher Gorchani, former Finance Minister Sardar Husnain Bahadur Dareshak also belong to the same district.

The local population is combating different challenges, including poverty, law and order, civic problems like unavailability of clean drinking water.

The district also remained in the news last year when Chotu Dakait Gang from the area unleashed a reign of terror. However, the gang has been busted now with Chotu Dakait in the custody of law enforcement agencies. Under the fresh delimitations, the district has total three National Assembly and five Provincial Assembly seats that include NA-193, NA-194, NA-195 a well as PP-293, pp-294, PP-295, PP-296 and PP-297. The area of Jampur falls in NA-193, NA-194 seats covers the Ranpur city whereas the NA-195 seat belongs to the area of Rojhan.

Historically, the Baloch clans including Legharis, Mazaris and Dareshaks have been winning from Rajanpur whereas members of the Gorchani tribe have also won the provincial seats. Till 1993, Pakistan Peoples’ Party with the support of Legharis and Mazaris remained victorious on most of the seats of the district but by 1996 while the group of Sardar Farooq Leghari parted ways with Peoples Party, it couldn’t win the Rajanpur-cum-Dera Ghazi Khan seat again. Since 1993, the first major win by PPP was in 2008 when it won in form of Sardar Dost Mohammed Mazari, grandson of Sardar Balakh Sher Mazari who won from the then NA-175 with a big margin.

One former MPA of PPP in 2008 Athar Gorchani is now in PTI fold whereas Aman Ullah Dareshak, another PPP MPA of that term has recently passed away. His son Farooq Aman is now in the PTI fold. The entire PPP lot that won the 2008 polls from here is now in PTI fold and it is obvious that in the upcoming general elections, the contest will be between PML-N and the local tribal elders who are siding with PTI now.


 In the 1988 general elections, PPP won both the National Assembly seats including the then NA-133, which was Dera Ghazi Khan cum Rajanpur, Sardar Farooq Ahmed Khan Leghari emerged victorious as the PPP candidate while bagging 760,99 votes. The IJI candidate Afifa Mamdot stood at number two with 35,947 votes.

On the second seat of the district which was NA-134, PPP candidate Sardar Ashiq Mazari won the polls after a neck on neck fight against IJI’s Sardar Nasar Ullah Khan Dareshak.

Sardar Ashiq Mazari in that polls got 52,936 votes whereas Sardar Nasar Ullah Khan Dareshak stood at number two with 52,542 votes. The margin between the winner and the runner was less than 400 votes. In that poll, Sardar Balakh Sher Mazari as the candidate of National Democratic Party stood at number three with 10565 votes.

On the three provincial seats of the district in 1988, the winners included Sardar Jaffer Khan Leghari who won as PPP candidate from the then PP-204, Sardar Nasar Ullah Khan Dareshak who won from PP-205 on the ticket of Islami Jamhuri Ittehad and Sardar Shaukat Mazari won from PP-206 as the candidate of PPP.


 The 1990 general elections, late Sardar Farooq Ahmed Khan Leghari, won from NA-133 as the PPP candidate comfortably while defeating Sardar Tufail Khan of IJI and independent candidate Sardar Saif ud Din Khosa. In that contest, Leghari got 7378 votes, Sardar Tufail stood at number two with 56,342 votes whereas Saif ud Din Khosa stood at number three with around 5000 votes. From NA-134, it was Sardar Balakh Sher Mazari who won as the IJI candidate while defeating PPP’s Sardar Ashiq Mazari. Balakh Sher Mazari got 76,446 votes and Sardar Ashiq Mazari got 57,765 votes.

From the provincial seats of the district, the winners were Sardar Nasar Ullah Dareshak of IJI who defeated Jaffer Leghari of PPP from PP-204, Rajanpur 1. Nasar Ullah Dareshak got over 37000 votes in that contest followed by around 28000 voters of Jaffer Leghari.

Sardar Nasar Ullah Dareshak also won from another seat of the district that was PP-205 where he emerged victorious while bagging 40174 votes. Dr Hafeez ur Rehman of PPP stood at number two with around 20, 000 votes.

From the third provincial seat, the winner in 1990 polls was Farhat Aziz Mazari who won as the IJI candidate from PP-206 in a one on one contest against PPP’s Shaukat Mazari. The winner in that contest got 31475 votes and the runner up got 20569 votes.


 The next general elections which were held in October 1993, PPP won on both seats in form of Sardar Farooq Ahmed Khan Leghari who emerged victorious from NA-133 and Sardar Balakh Sher Mazari, who won from NA-134 as independent candidate backed by PPP. Sardar Farooq Leghari from NA-133 seat got 95943 votes against PML-N candidate Sardar Saif ud Din Khosa who got 50,938 votes. Sardar Balakh Sher Mazari won from NA-134 while getting 74,183 votes followed by Sardar Nasar Ullah Khan Dareshak, who as an independent candidate got 61210 votes. From the three provincial seats in the 1993 elections, the winners were Sardar Jaffer Leghari of PPP who won from PP-204 against Sadar Javed Iqbal Khan of PML-N, Aman Ullah Khan, the independent candidate who won against Sadar Nasar Ullah Khan Dareshak and Zahid Mehmood Mazari, who won as independent candidate against PPP’s Shaukat Mazari. All the independents joined PPP and the entire district went into the hands of Peoples Party in 1993.


 In the 1997 general elections, Legharis and Dareshaks emerged victorious from major chunk of seats with Sardar Jaffer Leghari, winning from the NA-133 seat and Sardar Nasar Ullah Khan Dareshak from NA-134, both as independent candidates and defeating the PML-N and PPP ticket holders. The three provincial assembly seats of the district including PP-204, PP-205 and PP-206 in 1997 were won by Sardar Awais Leghari, son of Sardar Farooq Ahmed Khan, who was serving as President of Pakistan at that time, Aman Ullah Khan and Farhat Aziz Mazari. Out of these three, Farhat Aziz was the PML-N ticket holder.


 The 2002 general elections which were held under fresh delimitations, PPP and PML-N faced a complete white wash from the district and Legharis and Dareshaks once again remained winner of the two seats including NA-174 and NA-175. From NA-174, the candidate of National Alliance headed by Sardar Farooq Leghari, Sardar Jaffer Khan Leghari won the seat while bagging 59,783 votes. The runner up in that poll was the PML-N candidate Gorish Gorchani who stood at number two and got around 32,000 votes followed by PPP candidate Sardar Zafar Ullah Khan Lund who got 1340 votes. From the NA-175 seat, Sardar Nasar Ullah Khan Dareshak continued his winning streak and won while getting 69030 votes against Sardar Khalid Bashir Mazari, an independent candidate who got 38127 votes. From the provincial seats of the district, Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari from PP-247 as the candidate of National Alliance, Independent candidate Sardar Hasnain Bahadur Dareshak from PP-248, Sardar Aman Ullah Dareshak, won from PP-249 and Sardar Shaukat Mazari won from PP-249, both as Independent candidates. National Alliance later merged itself into PML-Q and Dareshaks also sided with the ruling Muslim League due to which entire district sided with the winning party of that time, that was Q-league.


 In the 2008 general elections, the Dareshaks suffered defeat and the winners from the district were Legharis and Mazaris. From NA-174, Rajanpur 1, the winner was PML-Q candidate Sardar Jaffer Khan Leghari who defeated Sardar Nasar Ullah Khan Dareshak, the independent candidate. Sardar Jaffer Leghari won the seat while getting 50,440 votes followed by Sardar Nasar Ullah Khan Dareshak who got around 40, 000 votes. PPP candidate Ghulam Rasul Koreja stood at number three with around 38, 000 votes. From NA-175, Rajanpur II, the winner was PPP candidate Meer Dost Mohammed Mazari who won while getting 78427 votes. Sardar Nasar Ullah Khan Dareshak, who was contesting on PML-Q ticket from this side stood at number two while bagging 46210 votes. From the provincial seats, the winners were PML-N’s Sadar Sher Ali Gorhcani who won from PP-247, Rajanpur 1, Sardar Athar Hussain Gorchani won from PP-248 as Independent candidate and defeated Husnain Bahadur Dareshak, the former Finance Minister in the cabinet of Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, Sardar Aman Ullah Dareshak, who won on the ticket of PPP who won the poll against Sardar Nasar Ullah Khan Dareshak, and Shaukat Mazari, who won as independent candidate. After the death of Shaukat Mazari, it was Atif Mazari who won the by poll. In 2008 polls, the PPP won one NA and one PP seat whereas Athar Gorchani also joined Peoples Party. The group of late Sardar Shaukat Mazari sided with PML-N.


 Situation favoured PML-N more than any other party in the 2013 general elections after the group of Legharis, while forgetting the years long bitterness with Sharifs and joined Nawaz League.

Besides, the hallmark of the 2013 general elections was the decision of Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif to contest from one of the provincial seats of the district which he won but his party later lost it in the by polls.

Sardar Jaffer Khan Leghari, this time as the candidate of PML-N emerged victorious from NA-174 while securing 101705 votes and defeated Sardar Nasar Ullah Khan Dareshak. From the headquarters and Rojhan area seat, the winner was former District Nazim Dr Hafeez-ur-Rehman Dareshak who defeated the last time winner Mir Dost Mohammed Mazari. Dr Hafeez got 110573 votes and Dost Mohammed Mazari stood at number two with 73885 votes. From the provincial seats, the winners were Shahbaz Sharif of PML-N (PP-247), Sardar Sher Ali Gorchani of PML-N (PP-248), Sardar Nasar Ullah Khan Dareshak, an independent candidate (PP-249) and Sardar Atif Mazari of PML-N (PP-250). PML-N won both the NA and three out of the four provincial assembly seats. In the bye polls, PTI candidate Ali Raza Dareshak, son of Sardar Nasar Ullah Dareshak emerged victorious while defeating the ruling party candidate and in this way, Dareshaks were winners from two provincial seats of the districts.

2018 POLLS

 Under the fresh delimitations, the Rajanpur district has been divided into three NA and five provincial assembly seats. Three major clans of the district including Legharis, Dareshaks and Balakh Sher Mazari group are in PTI and are not contesting against each other from any of the seat.

From NA-193, PTI is going to field Sardar Jaffer Khan Leghari, from NA-194, Sardar Nasar Ullah Dareshak is the expected candidate of Tehreek e Insaf and from Rojhan seat, which is NA-195, either son of Sardar Balakh Sher including Riaz Mazari or Zahid Mazari could be the PTI contestants.

The PTI candidates from the Provincial Assembly include former MPA of 2002 and 2008 as well as the independent Senator of 2012 Sardar Mohsin Leghari (PP-293), former Finance Minister Sardar Husnain Bahadur Dareshak (PP-294), Farooq Aman Ullah Dareshak (PP-295, Fazilpur), Ali Raza Dareshak (PP-296, Rajanpur headquarters) and Dost Mohammed Mazari from PP-297, a seat falling in Rojhan.

Mohsin Leghari, son of former MPA of 1993 and 1997 Col Rafique Leghari made is electoral debut from the 2003 by polls and was fielded by Sardar Farooq Ahmed Khan Leghari on the seat vacated by him in 2002, which was PP-245. Mohsin won the by poll as the National Alliance candidate while defeating Hussain Leghari of PML-Q. Later in 2008, Mohsin contested the polls as the PMLQ candidate from Dera Ghazi Khan and were amongst few those who didn’t join the party’s forward bloc. In 2012, Mohsin created an upset while emerging victorious as the Senator in independent capacity and held the office till 2018. Ali Raza and Husnain Dareshak are sons of Sardar Nasar Ullah Khan Dareshak and both have served as MPAs. Farooq Aman Ullah Dareshak is son of former MPA late Aman Ullah Dareshak who has joined PTI recently after the death of his father. Both rival groups of Dareshak clan are allies now. Dost Mohammed Mazari is the grandson of Sardar Balkh Sher Mazari and was MNA of PPP in 2008.

PML-N is facing a test with the alignment of three major groups of the district but still, it has potential candidates in form of Sardar Pervaiz Gorchani who could contest from the Jampur seat, NA-193. Deputy Speaker Punjab Assembly Sardar Sher Ali Gorchani could also be the choice of PML-N for the NA seat but in case his father is fielded from the NA slot, he could contest on two provincial seats.

From NA-194, the seat that falls in Rajanpur headquarters, PML-N is expected to field its ticket holder and last time winner Dr Hafeez ur Rehman Dareshak and the member of his group from the provincial seat. Atif Mazari could also be the choice of PML-N against the group of Sardar Balakh Sher Mazari from Rojhan seat, NA-195 and on the provincial seat from where he has been MPA twice.

PPP is facing shortage of candidates from the district and from the Jampur seat, NA-193 it could field its district President Waqar Gorchani. From NA-194, PPP’s choice could be Khawaja Kaleem ud Din Koreja whereas it has no candidate from Rojhan side.

From the provincial seats, the PPP possible candidates are Mirza Tariq, Malik Ehsan, Nasar Ullah Khan Tareen, Yusuf Gabul and Jam Khan Dareshak.

Central PTI leader Jehangir Khan Tareen, who has also been credited for strengthening party in Southern Punjab, while talking to The News claimed that PTI would make a clean sweep in the district. He said Rajanpur situation was very much clear and favouring PTI, adding all the groups siding with Tehreek-e-Insaf are also local allies. He said PTI had been thoroughly examining the dynamics of all the district was studying seat to seat issue. Tareen stated in all the districts of Southern Punjab as well, party would lead.

Talking to The News, Sardar Sher Ali Gorchani said PML-N had every reason to win the polls as it had carried out record development in the district where the feudals siding with PTI never paid any heed. He said just a few days before polls, the feudals of the district had realised the significance of a separate province for southern Punjab whereas while remaining in power, they only focused on accumulating wealth, setting up their sugar mills and expanding business.

Gorchani said PML-N had constructed a vast road network in the district, took revolutionary measures under the leadership of Shahbaz Sharif in education sector where more than 5000 educators were recruited. Not only this, there has been number of schools and colleges in the district, a step that had never been taken in past.

Moreover, he said the measures taken by the Shahbaz Sharif government to protect the district from the devastation of flood had been the most important step which was never taken before.

Waqar Gorchani, the district President of PPP while talking to The News said that party had always shown good result from the district and would also field candidates from all the seats. He said the PPP was the party of the masses and crisis and challenges were not new to it.

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