RAWALPINDI: Political parties in Rawalpindi have kick-started preparations for the local government elections scheduled in September.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has issued the election schedule: polls will be held on April 25 in cantonment areas and on September 20 in Punjab and Sindh.
Though the process will start on July 29, political parties have started meetings to select candidates and seeking support. Aspiring candidates have started meeting traders bodies and other associations.
PPP Rawalpindi President Malik Aamir Fida Paracha has called a meeting to discuss preparations for the polls in cantonment areas. PPP Rawalpindi Secretary Information Shujaat Haider Naqvi said expected candidates from PP-9 and PP-10 constituencies will attend the meeting.
Dr Tahirul Qadri’s Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) has also started contacting trade bodies and other political parties ahead of the polls in cantonments. PAT Rawalpindi leaders Ghulam Ali Khan and Malik Tahir Javed met Rawalpindi Tajir Action Committee Chairman Faheem Siddiqui and discussed LG elections and issues being faced by the traders and residents in the city.
Former PML-Q tehsil nazim Hamid Nawaz Raja is actively attending funeral and wedding ceremonies in the city and building contacts.
The ruling PML-N, however, seems to be behind all other parties with reports of grouping and differences among party’s local leaders. Analysts say the party elected Chaudhry Tanveer Ahmed Khan to the Senate in a bid to bring various groups close to each other in the party’s Rawalpindi chapter.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 17th, 2015.