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July 27, 2018
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PTI ends winning streak of PML-N, MQM in strongholds

National

July 27, 2018

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LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) created history while causing a major dent in the strong- holds of PML-N, PPP and MQM in the cities of Karachi and Lahore.

PTI Chairman Imran Khan, who contested the first general election of his life in 1997, had to wait for 21 years to score a win on the soil of Lahore which he achieved in 2018. From NA-131, Imran Khan emerged victorious over PML-N’s Khawaja Saad Rafique after a tough contest and bagged around 85, 000 votes.

Malik Karamat Khokher, a PTI candidate from NA-134, is the second figure in PTI who also had to wait for almost 25 years to score a win from Lahore. He was elected as MPA on PPP ticket in 1993 and contested the 1997 polls but couldn’t win. Due to graduation bar, his nephew Malik Zaheer Abbas was fielded for the then NA-128 seat and he won on PPP ticket. However, he quit PPP within days after winning and joined its forward bloc in the form of PPP-Patriot which later merged with PML-Q.

Malik Karamat contested the 2008 polls but lost. In 2018, after 25 years since he won, Malik Karamat scored another winning shot. Shafqat Mehmood, after Aitezaz Ahsen and Samina Khalid Ghurki, is the third politician who scored two consecutive wins on the ticket of any party other than PML-N.

Shafqat Mehmood was the only PTI MNA in 2013 when the rest of Lahore was swept by PML-N. In 2018, he won once again against the same contestant, Khwaja Ahmed Hassan of PML-N. Prior to Shafqat, it was Aitezaz Ahsen of PPP who scored two consecutive wins in 1988 and 1990 polls, whereas, Samina Khalid Ghurki also had the same record as she won two consecutive polls in 2002 and 2008. Other than these three figures, no other candidate holding the ticket of any other party other than PML-N or its allies have scored two consecutive wins. Hammad Azhar, son of former Punjab Governor Mian Azhar, till the filing of report, was also declared winner by PTI circles. He has won the seat in the second contest of his life.

Mian Azhar’s family is back in power politics after a gap or almost 21 years. Mian Azhar was elected as the Lahore mayor in 1987, after which he was also fielded by Nawaz Sharif on a vacant seat, NA-95, in the 1988 by-polls which he also won.

Mian Azhar was made Punjab governor by Nawaz Sharif in 1990 and later in 1997, he was also awarded the ticket from the then NA-92 from where he also won with a huge margin. In 2002, Mian Azhar, as PML-Q president, contested for two seats but lost both and also suffered defeat in 2008 general elections at the hands of his former party worker Malik Riaz. In 2013, his son Hammad lost the poll from NA-121 after securing around 70, 000 votes amid rigging allegations. In 2018, however, he is leading from the same seat which was now NA-126 and Mehr Ishtiaq of PML-N was on second number.

On the provincial seats, the figures like Aslam Iqbal and Mian Mehmood ul Rasheed have also scored two consecutive wins against PML-N candidates. Abdul Aleem Khan has won a provincial assembly seat. He has to wait for 15 years to score a win. He contested in 2002 general elections on PML-Q ticket from the then NA-127 but lost to Pakistan Awami Tehreek head Dr Tahir ul Qadri. He won the 2003 by-polls against PML-N’s Zaeem Qadri and MMA’s Ameer ul Azim but lost the 2008 general elections from both seats.

Aleem Khan didn’t contest the 2013 general election but made an attempt of a comeback in 2015 by-election but suffered defeat after a very tough contest against PML-N’s Sardar Ayaz Sadiq.

He lost the NA seat once again in 2018 but won from a provincial seat and now he is even considered a strong contestant for the slot of chief minister. In Karachi, which has been a stronghold of MQM since 1988 and the rest of its areas showed dominance of PPP earlier, PTI won 12 out of the total 21 seats, which is a record of any party whose candidates are contesting from that city on a ticket other than MQM.

PML-N and PPP won six seats each and one was clinched by Jamaat e Islami in 1993 general elections when Karachi had 13 seats but it was done only when MQM had boycotted the polls. In those general elections, MQM contested the provincial assembly elections and made a complete sweep in Karachi.

In 2002 general elections, MMA candidates won five out of total 21 seats of Karachi but even that time, Muttehida established its authority in Karachi on ballot and won major chunk of seats.

MQM remained major shareholder of Karachi seats in 2008 and 2013 but in 2018, it was the PTI that won more than 50 percent of the total seats and MQM and PPP were almost equal in numbers.

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