KARACHI: For the first time, three candidates – all heads of their parties and all aspiring to be the next prime minister – have chosen Karachi to contest the upcoming general elections.
The PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif, the PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and the PTI chief Imran Khan have announced they own Karachi and submitted nomination forms from separate constituencies. However, they are also contesting in their hometown constituencies in their provinces too.
“Shehbaz Sharif is contesting from two National Assembly seats not three as reported by the media,” the PML-N Sindh President Shah Mohammad Shah said. “Mian sahib will contest from NA-249 Baldia and NA-250, which also falls in district west.”
Shehbaz did not personally visit Karachi on Monday and Punjab former minister Rana Mashhod submitted his nomination form to returning officer.
“Shehbaz Sharif will be only contesting from NA-249 Baldia where PPP, PTI, JI and MQM have fielded their candidates,” a senior leader in PML-N said, adding that NA-249 constituency is dominated by Punjabi and Pakhtoon voters where PML N has won 11 union councils in last local government election.
In this constituency, PML-N and the Awami National Party (ANP) may make an alliance,” a source said.
The PTI chief Imran Khan who is also prime ministerial candidate has submitted the nomination forms from NA-243. From this constituency, the MQM-P has fielded former opposition leader in the Sindh Assembly Khawaja Izharul Hasan, the Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) has nominated Muzamil Qureshi while former Deputy Speaker of Sindh Assembly Shehla Raza will be contesting for PPP.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, the PTI leader Khurrum Sher Zaman said well educated people and business community lives in this area and the PTI will sweep this seat too. Imran Khan is also contesting from NA-35 Bannu, NA-53 Islamabad, NA-95 Mianwali-1 and NA-131 Lahore.
The PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari like his parents has also decided to contest the polls from densely populated Lyari area, which is still considered the PPP stronghold.
Benazir Bhutto had won this seat in 1988 and Asif Ali Zardari was declared victorious from the seat in 1990. Bilawal, who also submitted his nomination form in NA-200 Larkana, said that he will drastically change destiny of Karachi where he was born.
The same promises are being made by Imran Khan and the PML N leadership.