Constituency profile: The great Chakwal clash

Published: May 3, 2013


A historic district of Punjab located 90 km south east of the federal capital, Chakwal has produced more soldiers and army generals than any other part of Pakistan.

Chakwal has two national and four provincial assembly seats.

For decades this district, which boasts of two NA and four PA seats, was considered a stronghold of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), but the upcoming elections may see a serious upset.

NA-60: The real contestants

In NA-60, the real contest is between Tahir Iqbal of PML-N, the PPP’s Raja Sana-ul-Haq and Sardar Ghulam Abbas (independent) who enjoys the support of the PML-Q.

In the 2008 elections, Ayaz Amir won from NA-60 on a PML-N ticket by grabbing over 125,000 votes. However, this time PML-N denied him the ticket and chose to field Major (retd) Tahir Iqbal, who won this seat in the 2002 elections on a Q-league ticket.

Iqbal is a son-in-law of Lt. General (retd) Abdul Majeed Malik, who remained undefeated from 1988 to 2002 from this constituency, after which he had to pull out of the race because he was not a graduate.

Iqbal is believed to have been preferred over Ayaz Amir because of the support he enjoys among religious groups, which have a sizable vote bank in this constituency. The right-wing groups had conveyed it to the PML-N leadership that they would not vote for the party if it awarded the ticket to Ayaz Amir, who is a known columnist and journalist with liberal views.

Angered by the party decision, Amir withdrew his nomination papers and decided to support the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI), which has fielded Raja Yassir Sarfaraz in the district.

“This will certainly give a tough challenge to PML-N because Ayaz Amir has his own vote bank,” commented local journalist Jameel Ahmed.

Sardar Ghulam Abbas, the former district nazim, is another candidate who will play a crucial role. Abbas, a known political figure, had first joined PTI and was also in contact with the PML-N. However, when the PML-N denied him the ticket, he decided to fight the election independently. Interestingly, Abbas also enjoys the support of Chaudhry Parvez Elahi, who is contesting from NA-61 Chakwal.

The PML-Q is also trying to convince the PPP to withdraw its candidate Raja Sana-ul-Haq, who is the brother of former prime minister Raja Parvez Ashraf’s son-in-law, in favour of Abbas.

If that happens, this may pose a serious challenge to the PML-N candidate. However, the PML-N got a boost when the right-wing groups in the district decided to support their candidates from both constituencies.

NA-61: A tricky equation

The situation in NA-61 is even more complex and it seems the PML-N in this constituency is on a weak footing. The reason is that PML-Q leader Chaudhry Parvez Elahi, who is contesting from NA-61, enjoys the support of PPP and the influential Tamman clan.

Elahi lost 2008 elections from this constituency by only a few hundred votes, to PML-N candidate Sardar Faiz Tamman, who resigned from the National Assembly in 2010, apparently over fake degree charge. He later joined PTI but quit the party. He has now decided to support Parvez Elahi.

“Parvez Elahi’s chances are bright in NA-61 because he has undertaken lot of development work, not only when he was Punjab chief minister but also when he was deputy prime minister,” remarked political analyst Professor Tahir Malik, who hails from Talagang.

Though the PML-N fielded Sardar Mumtaz Tamman from NA-61, other Tammans have joined other parties, including Mansoor Hayat Tamman who is contesting as a PTI candidate, while Sardar Faiz Tamman has joined hands with Parvez Elahi.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 3rd, 2013. 

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Reader Comments (32)

  • Youth
    May 3, 2013 - 9:36AM

    PPP + PTI alliance cannot defeat PML-N in Punjab.
    PTI is running comapign of PPP in Punjab.


  • Josheela
    May 3, 2013 - 9:39AM

    youth of chakwal will vote for pml n.
    ALLAH bless pakistan.


  • Habib Khan
    May 3, 2013 - 9:42AM

    PTI has lost the battle. PPP is not running its compaign in Punjab because PTI is doing so for them. What a change!
    PPP and PTI both will kiss the dust on May 11.
    Victory for PML (N). INSHA ALLAH


  • WISE
    May 3, 2013 - 9:45AM

    imran does not possess abilities to become a national leader. his language in public rallies is always un-ethical. he always uses abusive language for other politicians.
    no to PTI
    yes to PML-N.


  • Ahmed
    May 3, 2013 - 9:47AM

    I am just enjoying the deluded people who say Imran Khan is working for PPP. This alone shows the intelligence of PML-N supporters.


  • Omer Chaudhry
    May 3, 2013 - 9:49AM

    PML-N can loose from Lahore not from Chakwal!. 2/2 NA and 4/4 PA


  • Haroon Ahmed
    May 3, 2013 - 9:58AM

    PML-N is in a comfortable position in NA-60.
    Tough fight in NA-61.


    May 3, 2013 - 9:59AM

    People of Chakwal are sensible enough and will not try once again PMLN.

    Majority will support PTI candidate and so called electables would loose this election.

    PTI will win mre seats from PUNJAB than PML N for sure.


  • Chakwalian
    May 3, 2013 - 10:06AM

    Keep on dreaming PML-N is not going to win from chakwal as this is my hometown and i know better than anyone else what currently is going on in NA-60. InshaALLAH youth of chakwal will vote for PTI only. May 11 will be a historic day in the history of pakistan n chakwal as well.Recommend

  • Imran Sarmad
    May 3, 2013 - 10:09AM

    @Habib Khan,
    You all wiil see PMLN defeat on 11th May.INSHALLAH. VOTE FOR PTI…


  • Yes
    May 3, 2013 - 10:14AM

    PTI has nothing to get in district chakwal. voting for PTI means wasting the vote.


  • Noorani
    May 3, 2013 - 10:20AM

    PML N is going to win NA-60 with vast majority. They are facing no problem there.
    Close fight is expected between PML-N and PML-Q in NA-61.
    There is no PTI in these 2 constituencies.


  • babloo
    May 3, 2013 - 10:24AM

    @Omer Chaudhry
    It is a dream of PTI to win lahore. This dream can never come true. There are millions of youth in Lahore that love mian nawaz sharif.
    PTI can get maximum 10 seats from all over Pakistan.
    Imran is also losing his own seat from Lahore.


  • John The Great
    May 3, 2013 - 10:28AM

    PTI stance before 11th May = We will sweep
    PTI stance after 11th May = Dhandli, Dhandli


  • Young Bachha
    May 3, 2013 - 10:34AM

    Despite help recieved from PPP people, PTI is going to loose the battle. Sun of 11th May will see the victory of PML N insha Allah. There is no PTI in chakwal.


  • waseem sarwar
    May 3, 2013 - 11:09AM

    even tough i am a huge Khan fan and a loyal PTI supporter, i can see PTI giving PMLN a run for their money in NA 60 but i can’t see Pervaiz Elahi losing from chakwal this time out.


    May 3, 2013 - 11:21AM

    @Habib Khan:

    Dude, PPPP is not running any campaign anywhere in country.

    And yeah Zardari is waiting for your Noora league in president house to form another coalition govt i am sorry corruption govt in fact,


  • Mast Malang
    May 3, 2013 - 12:53PM

    I can feel rage, disappointment and frustration in PML-N supporters rightnow, PTI has already put a large dent in their chances, PTI is sweeping these elections InshaAllah.


    May 3, 2013 - 1:04PM

    @John The Great:

    Dream On Buddy, Easy picking.


  • Doofy
    May 3, 2013 - 1:37PM

    Why is that ,every time I read these election analysis of ET ,PTI has no chance anywhere in Pak and specially on all Punjab constituencies ?


  • John the Baptist
    May 3, 2013 - 3:16PM

    @John The Great:

    PTI stance before 11th May = We will sweep
    PTI stance after 11th May = Dhandli, Dhandli

    PTI stance before 11th May = We will sweep the elections
    PMLN stance after 11th May = We need urgent medical treatment in Jeddah


  • Patience
    May 3, 2013 - 3:18PM

    Please review your language. Same like your leader IK. That is why I hate PTI.
    All those are idiot in your eyes who will vote for PML-N.
    ET should censor such comments. I request PTI lovers to please be patient.
    I feel that this is frustration that PTI is feeling before losing the elections.


  • Usman Mujtaba
    May 3, 2013 - 3:48PM

    PML(N) will easily win NA-60.
    very tough fight in NA-61 between PML-N and PML-Q.
    PTI is nowhere.


  • PakPower
    May 3, 2013 - 5:23PM

    Whenever I read a constituency profile on ET, I get the feeling that they have some sort of a hidden score to settle with the PTI…


  • Ishrat salim
    May 3, 2013 - 6:26PM

    I can never imagine how stupid our literate people n youth can be…..what both main political parties have given to the people in lást 5 yrs? PPP looted while PML N let them do it as friendly opposition and récently claimed by NS in one of talk shows, claiming it was done so as not to derail democracy….what justification ?… much poor people suffered, cannot be imagined by NS and his party nor PPP govt , because both were living luxury life…..yet they will be brought to govern again….this is because this arrangement is as per charter of democracy between both PML N PPP in 2007…..5 years PPP 5 yrs PML N…..and that is what is going on.


  • NICOPer
    May 3, 2013 - 6:27PM

    Look at all of these delusional PML-N supporters trolling on ET. Paying ET wasn’t enough, now you have to spread your rubbish in the comments. Grow some courage and save your country from your one-time-dinner plate that you fought over. Use your intellect for a change. Vote for PTI.


  • Pakistani
    May 3, 2013 - 6:43PM

    my vote for PML(N) inshaAllah.


  • Voterzz
    May 3, 2013 - 6:54PM

    Win for PML-Naan


  • Lahori
    May 3, 2013 - 7:02PM

    @Ishrat salim:
    Rightly said. Only delusional morons will vote for Noora league.


  • Daylight
    May 3, 2013 - 8:56PM

    @Ishrat salim:
    Well said. Only delusional, idiotic morons will prefer N league despite its repeated and evident failures.Recommend

  • JFK
    May 4, 2013 - 2:38AM

    I like imran but voting for pti is wasted vote which would benefit ppp.


  • Osama Ashfaq
    May 4, 2013 - 8:37AM

    The most interesting comment is “Right wing religious vote bank gave assurance to PML-N”. So PML-N has already compromised on the future of Pakistan. Go PML-N and Kudos to the PML-N supports who are blind enough to not see the reality and basking in the glory of some khirat and lollipops like laptops, Jangla Bus etc.


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