KARACHI: Collection of nomination forms for the upcoming general elections continued on Tuesday, which was the second day after they were made available. Around 400 people, including two transgender persons, obtained the forms in the last two days.
Additional sessions judges have been appointed by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) as returning officers in various districts to issue and receive the nomination forms. The last date for the submission of forms has now been extended from today (Wednesday) to June 8.
A huge crowd was witnessed on Tuesday at City Courts and Malir Courts in Karachi, where candidates belonging to various political parties and alliances, as well as independent candidates obtained the forms.
Two transgender persons, Bindiya Rani and Urooj Aftab, also received the nomination forms to contest the upcoming elections from PS-114 and NA-245 in Karachi. Rani, who is the president of Gender Interactive Alliance, also contested the last general elections from the Tariq Road constituency and alleged that she was defeated by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) candidate through rigging.
“I want to represent my community in the assembly,” Rani said while speaking to the media. She claimed that she would win the elections if they were held in a fair manner. “We want to serve Pakistan and our first priority will be to end load-shedding in the country,” Rani said, adding that she and her supporters would soon start her election campaign in the area.
Others who obtained the nomination forms included Rauf Siddiqui of MQM-Pakistan. He got two forms for NA-243 and PS-104. Actor Ayoub Khosa of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) also collected two form to contest the polls from PS-102 and NA-243. Dawa Khan Sabir of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf received the form for PS-120.
Karachi Deputy Mayor Arshad Vohra, who joined the Pak Sarzameen Party a few months ago, obtained the forms for NA-255 and PS-128. Dr Amir Liaquat Hussain also collected the form.
Aslam Ghauri and Mohammad Hussain Mehnti of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), Saleem Hyder of Muhajir Qaumi Movement, and Jam Abdul Kareem Bijar, Muzaffar Shujra and former deputy speaker Shehla Raza of PPP also obtained the forms.
According to provincial election commissioner Yousaf Khattak, the ECP has so far issued around 400 nomination forms, but has only received one filled-in form. “Looking at the situation, we have extended the submission date by June 8,” he said, adding that his office has also issued around 300 applications for the reserved seats for women and minorities.
Speaking to the media, Raza claimed that her party was hopeful to win the polls from entire Sindh including its capital, Karachi. The former deputy speaker also collected two forms, one of which was for a general seat from where she will likely contest the elections and the other for the reserved seats for women.
After obtaining the form, PPP leader Shamim Mumtaz, who served as an adviser to the chief minister in Murad Ali Shah’s government, told the media that PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari would be the next prime minister of Pakistan. “Sindh government has done marvelous job in the last ten years and people will vote us on merit,” she opined.
The nomination papers were also collected in other parts of Sindh where candidates from different political parties have been aspiring to contest the elections to be held on July 25.