PML-N’s win in Pindi surprises PPPP and PML-Q
* Zamurad Khan, Khalid Nawaz Bobi of PPPP; Sheikh Rashid, Basharat Raja of PML-Q lose to PML-N candidates
By Terence J Sigamony
RAWALPINDI: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s victory in the National Assembly seats from Rawalpindi city in the Monday’s vote came as a shock to PPPP and PML-Q.
A tough contest was expected between former MNA Zamurad Khan of the Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) and Basharat Raja of PML-Quaid in NA-54 but the seat went to a dark horse, Malik Ibrar of PML-N.
An ex-MPA, Ibrar said party leader Shahbaz Sharif’s address to a big rally at Dhoke Syedan had contributed a lot to his win in the elections.
He said: “it’s people and not the analysts to decide who is favourite in a constituency.” He said he would soon visit NA-54 and PP-10 areas to thank people for electing him.
Basharat Raja of PML-Q said he respected the people’s vote against him. He said he had to his credit the launch of mega development projects in the constituency but would still accept defeat with an open heart.
PPPP candidate in PP-11 Khalid Nawaz Bobi said the PPPP had been confident of winning all National and Provincial Assembly seats in the city but the election results shocked the party. He said the PPPP candidates would meet next week to ascertain the reason behind Zamurad Khan’s defeat.
In NA-55 and NA-56, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed’s lost the election against Makhdoom Javed Hashmi and Hanif Abbasi of PML-N respectively.
Ahmed’s supporters said their leader’s defeat in NA-55 was a surprise for them. They said former railways minister, who was a five-time winner from the constituency, had to his credit a number of public welfare projects, the inception of a dozen women colleges and the launch of Leh Expressway.
Shafiq Ahmed, who runs a shop near Ahmed’s mansion, Lal Haveli, said former railways minister used to meet people at his house from 8am to 10am and directed the concerned departments to redress their problems. “Sheikh sahib was accessible to everyone interested. People used to discuss their problems including joblessness with him and he had always given them a patient hearing,” he said.
However, some residents maintained that Ahmed suffered a big defeat for being vainglorious. An area resident, Ejaz Ahmed, said it was next to impossible for an ordinary person to meet Ahmed for security reasons.
Hanif Abbasi said his massive win against Ahmed in NA-56 was quite expected. He said as MNA he would raise the issue of restoration of deposed judges in the parliament. He said PML-N councilors would soon move a no-trust move against Sheikh Rashid Ahmed’s nephew, Sheikh Rashid Shafiq who was Rawal Town nazim.