Political power must stay with kith and kin

Following the tradition of dynastic politics, family members of political bigwigs secure major party tickets

Amir Farooq June 26, 2018
Sharif brother and Bilawal. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: Political dynasties have dominated Pakistan's electoral politics for the better half of its existence. The Sharif brothers have managed to keep their hold on the Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N), despite the deflections and infighting. Bilawal and company are content with cashing in on the Bhutto name. The Jilanis, Gilanis, Jatois, Khars and Mahars, representing the land-owning class, have retained their influence in their respective areas.

The upcoming general elections will see more familial politics than ever. Besides close relatives of party bigwigs, who have been allotted tickets on the basis of familial ties, there are those contesting the polls against their own blood.

Karachi's NA-246 constituency will be the debut electoral battlefield for Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. The constituency, which includes a large part of Lyari, is the same where Shaheed Benazir Bhutto began her electoral career.

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Bilawal will face 24 other candidates in the general elections for the constituency, including PML-N Senator Saleem Zia and renowned singer Jawad Ahmed.

For the second time, Imran Khan will also contest polls from Karachi. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairperson's nomination papers have been cleared for NA-243. Likewise, PML-N chief Shahbaz Sharif will contest the polls from Karachi's NA-249 constituency.

A long list of candidates for NA-247 promises an exciting contest. Prominent candidates for the constituency include the PTI's Dr Arif Alvi and his wife Samina Alvi. Though the party ticket has been allotted to Dr Alvi, his wife has submitted her nomination papers in an independent capacity. Other candidates include the Muttahida Qaumi Movement leader and former deputy mayor Nasreen Jalil and her close aide, Fauzia Aqueel Lari. PML-N's Mushahidullah and his son, Afnanullah, are also there in the list of candidates. Mushahidullah, probably as a covering candidate for Shehbaz Sharif, will contest the elections from NA-249, while his son will contest for the NA-247 seat. PPP's Aziz Memon and his brother Habib Memon will vie for the NA-247 seat.

PPP's Abdul Hakeem Baloch has been allotted the party ticket for District Malir's NA-237 constituency, where his son, Babar Hakeem Baloch, is also there, probably as a covering candidate. Similarly, Rana Muhammad Ahsan has been given the PML-N ticket for NA-239. Rana Muhammad Ahsan is also a candidate for PS-88, while his brother, Rana Tariq Ahsan, has the Pak Sarzameen Party's ticket for PS-92.

PPP leader Abdul Qadir Patel will contest the elections on NA-248, while his relative Mehmood Alam Jamoot has the PPP ticket for PS-91. Mehmood's brother, Jan Alam Jamoot is a covering candidate.

Meanwhile, a brother of MQM leader Khawaja Sohail Mansoor, Rehan Mansoor, has also dived into the political stream. While Sohail Mansoor has submitted forms for multiple constituencies, he will contest against his brother for NA-256. Rehan is also contesting on the PS-97 and PS-98 seats.

PTI leader Haleem Adil Sheikh is a candidate for PS-99, while his brother Naeem Adil Sheikh has filed nomination papers for the NA-238 constituency.

MQM's Faisal Subzwari has not submitted nomination papers for any constituency, but his paternal cousin, Syed Saad Ali Subzwari, is an MQM candidate for PS 117.

PPP's Mujahid Baloch has been allotted the party ticket for PS-115, the same constituency where his son, Salman Mujahid Baloch, is contesting from the MQM's ticket. Mujahid Baloch has also submitted papers on the corresponding constituency of the National Assembly.

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PPP's Nabeel Gabol has filed nomination papers for PS-87, while his son Nadir Gabol will contest from PS-107 as an independent candidate. PPP's Akhtar Hussain Jadoon and his nephew are contesting for PS-113 as covering candidates for Humayun Mohammad Khan. Members of the Jadoon community have filed nomination papers for PS 113, including PTI's Shahnawaz Jadoon and ANP's Sarfaraz Khan Jadoon.

Star power

Meanwhile, five celebrities from the showbiz industry will also put their popularity to the test in the upcoming elections.

The PPP has given party tickets to three showbiz personalities - Ayub Khosa for PS-101, Gul Rana for PS-94 and Sajid Hasan for NA-256. In addition, renowned artist Qaiser Nizamani has also submitted nomination papers for NA-245. Popular Sindhi drama actor Ali Gul Malah will contest the polls as an independent candidate for PS-100.


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