ISLAMABAD: Despite losing the May 11 general elections by more than 50,000 votes from NA-48, the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) on Sunday nominated Mian Muhammad Aslam to contest the by-elections for the same seat.
“JI believes in change through the ballot. I have served the people of Islamabad for over eleven years,” said Aslam after winning the nomination. He will submit his papers on Monday.
Mian Aslam won the election from the same seat in the 2002 general elections, whereas his party boycotted the next general elections in 2008. The decision to nominate Aslam, who is also the deputy chief of JI Punjab, was jointly taken by the party’s central committee and the district committee, after consultations on Sunday.
Considered favourite to win the NA-48 seat, Aslam only managed to secure 25,048 votes, finishing third behind Anjum Aqeel Khan of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Javed Hashmi of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the unexpected winner. With minimal campaigning, Hashmi emerged victor by bagging 73,878 votes.
“JI has a certain vote bank in the constituency, which is the party’s vote and not the candidate’s, so their (JI’s) votes are not likely to change much compared to May 11,” said a former local political worker of JI from NA-48.
Hashmi later vacated the seat to keep his home constituency seat from Multan. PTI has decided to field Asad Umar from NA-48 to defend the seat for the party.
Khan, the local from NA-48 who has considerable influence over the people in the area, appears favorite to get the PML-N ticket again. Fauzia Kasuri has also announced that she will contest the by-elections for the seat as an independent candidate.
The last date for filing of nomination papers is July 9, 2013. Bye-elections on NA-48 are scheduled for August 22, 2013.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 8th, 2013.
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