KARACHI: Ten candidates from the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) filed nomination papers on Monday for the Senate elections, but it is as yet unclear which ones will be the actual candidates and who will be covering candidates.
The candidates are Nasreen Jalil, who has served as deputy mayor, former MNA Kunwar Khalid Yunis and MPA Kanwer Naved Jameel, incumbent senator Col (retd) Syed Tahir Hussain Mashhadi as well as Punjo Mal, Arif Bhatti, Arshad Vohra and Naila Latif. It also has two rather well known candidates – noted lawyer Farogh Naseem, who has served as advocate general of Sindh, and Pakistan’s former ambassador to Saudi Arabia Umer Khan Ali Sherzai, who recently joined the MQM.
The MQM currently has a total of six senators of which three – Col (retd) Syed Tahir Hussain Mashhadi, Ahmed Ali and Dr Abdul Khaliq Pirzada – are retiring on March 11. Only one of these has been given a ticket for the Senate elections – Mashhadi.
The Express Tribune has learnt that the MQM is planning to increase its strength in the Senate to seven. It plans to have two candidates elected on general seats, one on a technocrat seat and the fourth on a women’s seat. However, the nomination of two minority candidates makes it unclear whether it will negotiate with the Pakistan Peoples Party for that seat. According to the MQM, it needs five votes in addition to its current 51 MPAs in the Sindh Assembly to gain another Senate seat.
The MQM candidates filed their papers at the Provincial Election Commissioner’s office on Monday.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 14th, 2012.
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