ELECTIONS 2002 (Dera Ghazi Khan Division)
Tribal bigwigs lock horns for the crown
By Mubashar Bukhari and Noshad Ali
Dera Ghazi Khan district, despite being a home to former president, former Punjab governor and ex-caretaker prime minister, is a neglected area where people are without water and other basic facilities. The district comprises of the Dera Ghazi Khan and the Taunsa Sharif tehsils. The DG Khan tehsil starts from the Sindh delta and ends across the Koh-e-Sulaiman. The locals complain that the chiefs of the various tribes motivate the voters by raising hollow slogans of providing them with clean drinking water, but have not proved true to their words.
Despite being a part of the federation, there are two law enforcing systems in DG Khan, i.e, the district police system in the urban areas and the border police system in the Koh-e-Sulaiman and its adjacent areas.
Prior to the recent delimitation of the constituencies, there were two national and five provincial assembly constituencies. Now, DG Khan has three NA and seven PA seats.
Although, the ideological vote bank of the Pakistan People’s Party, the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), the Jamaat-e-Islami and the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI and F&S) does exist, the Baloch tribes are the real movers and shakers of the local politics. Tribal alliances are more important than the political parties and Khosas, Legharis, Qaisranis, Khetrans, Buzdars, Lunds, Mandaranis and Khwajas hold sway in politics in this regard.
Various tribes and their tumandars (chiefs) had affiliations with different political parties to establish their superiority over other tribes by getting important posts. Local Baloch chiefs, including Mir Balkh Sher Mazari, Sardar Zulfiqar Khosa and Sardar Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari, cashed their associations with the PPP and the PML-N and held important positions.
In the current situation, all the tribal chiefs, except Sardar Zulfiqar Khosa, have changed loyalties. Mr Leghari has formed his own Millat Party. The Buzdars and Qaisranis have turned their backs to the PML-N and are supporting the PML-QA. The Khwajas, once great supporters of the PPP, have also joined hands with the PML-QA.
DERA GHAZI KHAN
NA-171: The total registered voters in NA-71 are 314,919. Of those, 169,669 are male and 145,250 female. This constituency comprises of the Taunsa Tehsil and outskirts of the DG Khan tehsil.
Seven candidates are in the run in this field. Out of the seven Khwaja Jamaluddin Asghar of the PPPP, Sardar Muhammad Amjad Khan Khosa of the PML-N, Khwaja Sheraz Mahmood of the PML-QA, Dr Ashraf Buzdar of the MMA and Sardar Marghoob Aamer Khetran are the real contestants.
This is traditional a seat of the Khwajas and the Khosas. In the 1970 elections, Dr Nazir Ahmad of the JI won the elections on this seat with the support of the Khwajas and their followers. In 1977, JUI chief Maulana Mufti Mahmood won the elections. Khwaja Kamaluddin Anwar emerged successful in 1988 and 1993 on the IJI and the PPP’s platform, respectively. Sardar Amjad Farooq Khosa, a cousin of Sardar Zulfiqar Khosa, also won twice in 1990 and 1997 from the IJI and the PML-N’s platform, respectively.
Interestingly, Khawaja Sheraz and his uncle Khwaja Jamal are allegedly damaging each other, giving Sardar Amjad Khosa an edge. ‘Sajjadanashin’ of Taunsa Sharif, Khwaja Ataullah, is not supporting any of his kin and is impartial. The MMA’s Dr Ashraf may also dent the chances for both the Khwajas while Sardar Aamer Khetran may also damage the vote bank of the PPP candidate.
Mr Sheraz resigned from the Taunsa Sharif’s nazim and is in the run on his father’s seat. He is a well-reputed youth, but his uncle Mr Jamal is allegedly weakening his position. However, he has cobbled an alliance with the chiefs of the Qaisarani and the Buzdar tribes, who are contesting elections on PA seats, lying under NA-171. He also enjoys support from the Millat Party’s Khwaja Daud Sulemani, who has enough influence of local voters.
Mr Amjad Khosa is in a good position because of the support announced by the local leaders of both the factions of the JUI. Despite being a Baloch, he enjoys support of the settlers. It is likely to be a one-on-one contest between Mr Amjad and Mr Sheraz in which the former has a slight edge.
NA-172: The total registered voters in NA-172 are 305,066. Of those, 164,074 are male and 140,992 female. It includes towns and villages of Sakhi Sarwar, Mana Ahmadani, Khar, Choti Zairin and Basti Khosa.
Sardar Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari of the MP, Dr Saeed Buzdar of the PPPP, Rasheed Ahmad Khan of the MMA and Sardar Muhammad Khan Leghari (independent) are contesting here.
Mr Leghari won the elections from this constituency four times from 1977 to 1993. In 1985 his cousin, Maqsood Leghari, emerged successful. While in 1997, Jaffar Leghari won the polls. This time Mr Leghari is not going to have an easy ride because his cousin Sardar Maqsood Leghari has joined hands with the Khosas and has fielded his son Muhammad Khan Leghari.
Mr Farooq Leghari enjoys the support of the people of the urban areas. The locals believe his son, district Nazim Jamal Leghari, are ruining his father’s chances. He is also going to fight out differences with the local PML-QA leaders. The PML-QA is said to be supporting his rival.
Muhammad Khan Leghari is a new face in politics and he is enjoying support from the Khosas in tribal belt. However, Sakhi Sarwar is considered to be his strong hold as the local chief, Malik Elahi Baksh, is supporting him.
Dr Buzdar has failed to start effective campaigning as he has sensed that he can only play a spoiler. A local PPP leader disclosed that a majority of the PPP workers would vote for Muhammad Leghari. Mr Ahmad of the MMA is also campaigning half-heartedly.
NA-173: The total registered voters in NA-173 are 282,633. Of those, 153,357 are male and 140,992 female. It comprises DG Khan tehsil’s areas, including Jhoke Utra, Ghousabad, Shadan Lund, Shah Sadardin and Kot Chutta.
Sardar Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari of the MP, Sardar Muhammad Irfanullah Khan Khosa of the PPPP, Sardar Husain Ahmad Khan Leghari (independent) and Sahibzada Maulana Abdul Rahim of the MMA are prominent among the seven candidates contesting on this seat.
A tough fight is expected between cousins Awais, son of Farooq Leghari, and Husain, son of Maqsood Leghari. Awais, a former MPA, is enjoying support from his father and the district nazim. Mr Husain is a candidate of the Maqsood-Khosa alliance and has an edge over his rival as majority of the areas in this constituency are under the influence his father Maqsood Leghari and the Khosas. Mr Rahim may get a few thousand votes from the right-wing voters.
DERA GHAZI KHAN
PP-240: The total registered voters in this constituency are 132,244. Of those, 72,057 are male and 60,187 female. This constituency lies in Taunsa tehsil where 11 candidates are contesting.
Sardar Aurangzeb Qaisarani (independent), Tahir Mahmood Abdullah Qaisarani of the MMA, Sardar Imam of the GNA, Muhammad Farooq of the PPPP and Mir Badshah Khan Qaisarani of the PML-QA are the main contenders.
Mr Abdullah Qaisarani is in a good position as the PML-N’s candidate has withdrawn in his favour. He will also get the support from the right-wing people of the tehsil. Sardar Aurangzeb has influence in the areas of the Qaisarani tribe and is likely to get a good number of votes that may spoil either of Mr Abdullah or Mir Badshah’s chances. Mr Imam of the NA lost ground in the constituency after his opponents’ triggered rumours that he was a non-Muslim. The PPPP’s Muhammad Farooq stands a little chance in the contest as the Khwajas of the tehsil have turned their backs on the PPPP and have joined the PML-QA. A neck and neck fight is expected between Mr Abdullah and Mr Badshah.
PP-241: The total registered voters in PP-241 are 146,708. Of those, 77,976 are male and 68,732 female. This constituency comprises of the Taunsa tehsil where a triangular contest is going to take place among Khwaja Mudassar Mahmood of the PPPP, Sardar Fateh Muhammad Khan Buzdar of the PML-QA and Abdul Salam Khan Buzdar of the MMA.
Mr Mahmood is a cousin of Khwaja Sheraz and enjoys full support of the biradari despite their affiliation with the PML-QA. Sardar Fateh depends on support from his clan in the district and its outskirts. He will be in a good position if the Khwajas extend support to him. The locals say Mr Salam has an outside chance because the MMA leaders are not supporting him. They believe Mr Mahmood will emerge victorious on this seat.
PP-242: The total registered voters in PP-242 are 114,531. Of those, 63,309 are male and 51,222 female.
Sardar Irfanullah Khosa of the PPP, Javed Akhtar Khan Lund of the PMP, Muhammad Azam of the MMA and Salahuddin Khosa of the PML-N are the main contenders out of the seven participants here.
Mr Khosa is contesting from a national assembly seat also, but he is eying victory here. He enjoys the support from small pockets where the Khosas and factions of the Lund tribe have an influence. Mr Lund’s affiliation with Sardar Farooq Leghari is apparently weakening him. Mr Azam, a local candidate, can benefit from the solid support of the right-wing voters. Mr Khosa is a strong candidate of the Khosa-Leghari alliance and enjoys the support from the two chiefs. He is a relative of former MPA Mohsin Ata Khosa, who is backing him. All other things being equal, a tough contest is likely to take place between the PPP and the PML-N.
PP-243: The total registered voters in PP-243 are 121,509. Of those, 65,903 are male and 55,606 female. It is a seat of the DG Khan tehsil where seven candidates are going to fight elections. Apparently, a good contest is on the cards between Sardar Jaffar Leghari of the MP and Muhammad Khan Leghari (independent).
Sardar Maqsood Leghari won the last elections on this seat. This time the Leghari-Khosa alliance has fielded Muhammad Khan Leghari.
Muhammad Khan Leghari is considered to be a ‘favourite’ candidate here because of Jaffar’s lack of interest.
PP-244: The total registered voters in PP-244 are 130,379. Of those, 69,891 are male and 60,488 female. This is the second seat of DG Khan on which nine candidates are running.
Sardar Alam Khan Khetran of the PPPP, Sardar Muhammad Saifuddin Khan Khosa of the PML-N and Syed Abdul Aleem Shah of the PMP are the main contenders.
This constituency is considered to be Zulfiqar Khosa’s stronghold as he won here four times since 1988. The PML-N’s Saifuddin Khosa is his son and he enjoys support of Sardar Maqsood Leghari. Jamal Leghari and his clan are openly supporting Syed Abdul Aleem Shah, a ‘turncoat’ from the PML-N. Mr Khetran will bag the ideological PPP vote from here.
PP-245: The total registered voters in PP-245 are 142,285. Of those, 76,592 are male and 65,693 female. Areas of Choti Zairin and Sakhi Sarwar comprise this home constituency of former President Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari.
Three candidates namely, Sardar Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari of the MP, Sardar Mohammad Khan Leghari (independent) and Dr Saeed Ahmad Buzdar of the PPPP are the main contestants.
The Legharis are going to have a strong battle in which the PPPP’s Mr Buzdar can split the vote bank of Mr Farooq Leghari. Choti Zairin is the stronghold of Mr Farooq while the Leghari-Khosa alliance managed to capture Sakhi Sarwar after winning the support of a local influential, Malik Ellahi Bakhsh. Farooq Leghari is said to be trying to win Mr Bakhsh’s heart. Muhammad Leghari is contesting against his uncle.
A tough fight is expected between the Legharis and Mr Farooq has an edge over the nephew.
PP-246: The total registered voters in PP-246 are 114,962. Of those, 61,372 are male and 53,590 female.
A head to head fight is expected between Sardar Saifuddin Khan Khosa of the PML-N and Sardar Yousaf Khan Leghari of the PMP. Muhammad Jahangir Khan of the PPP and Qazi Zulfiqar Husain of the MMA are also in the field.
Mr Leghari has been winning elections here since 1988. In the last election, he beat Saif Khosa, who is now his candidate. Farooq Leghari has fielded his kin Sardar Yousaf Khan Leghari while Mr Jaffar Leghari, who filed his papers as an independent candidate, has withdrawn in favour of his nephew Mr Yousaf. Apparently, it will be a straight win for Mr Khosa.
Rajanpur is considered to be a district of political titans. In the past, Mir Sherbaz Mazari, Mir Balakh Sher Mazari and Sardar Nasrullah Dareshak earned fame from this constituency in national politics.
It is the last district of the Punjab province that touches the borders of Sindh and Balochistan. It comprises of three tehsils namely Rajanpur, Jampur and Rohjhan. It is a traditional political battlefield of the Mazaris and the Legharis for half a century. Politics here revolves around tribal politics and alliances. In every election, various tribes cobbled alliances with one other to defeat the rival clans. Mazaris are in a majority here and are followed by the Dareshaks and the Legharis.
The political rivalry between the Mazaris and the Legharis started when former caretaker Prime Minister Mir Balkh Sher Mazari defeated Sardar Jamal Khan Leghari, grandfather of former President Farooq Leghari, in the District Board Election in 1958. In 1970, Balakh Sher beat Leghari chief Sardar Takiya Khan Leghari, which resulted in a war between the two tribes.
In the current situation, the Mazaris have to face a tough time as Sardar Nasrullah Khan Dareshak, who was brought into politics by Balakh Sher in 1970, formed an alliance with the Millat Party against the Mazaris. Mr Dareshak’s detractors say he is using the MP’s crutches as he and his wife Sarosh Sultan earned notoriety for themselves for financial corruption.
NA-174: The total registered voters in NA-174 are 305,453. Of those, 167,472 are male and 137,981 female. The Jampur tehsil, some areas of the Rajanpur tehsil, including Fazilpur and Chachar, comprise of this constituency.
Sardar Jaffar Leghari of the MP, Muhammad Rafi Pachar of the MMA, Zafarullah Khan Lund of the PPPP and Sardar Goresh Gorchani of the PML-N are the main contenders.
Prior to the recent delimitation, the major area of this constituency was situated in Dera Ghazi Khan, a Farooq Leghari-influenced area. Mr Leghari won the elections here in 1988, 1990 and 1993 while Mr Jaffar emerged successful in 1997. In 1970, Sardar Sherbaz Mazari won the polls while Mir Balkh Sher succeeded in 1977.
Had the Lund and the Buzdar tribes been supporting Mr Jaffar like in the past, he would easily come off with flying colours. However, this time the Dareshaks have vowed to support him. Mr Gorchani has the support from the PML-N and the Mazaris. Mr Balkh Sher is personally canvassing for him, bringing him in a strong position against Mr Jaffar Leghari. Mr Lund of the PPPP is also a tough competitor as he enjoys the support from his own tribe and the Buzdars. He is likely to get the ideological vote bank of the PPP. Mr Pachar can be a spoiler by getting votes from the right-wing. It is likely to be a triangular contest between Mr Jaffar, Mr Gorchani and Mr Ziaullah.
NA-175: The total registered voters in NA-175 are 292,109. Of those, 163,245 are male and 128,864 female. It lies in the Rajanpur and Rohjhan tehsils where five candidates namely, Sardar Nasrullah Khan Dareshak (independent), Sardar Khalid Bashir Mazari (independent), Sikandar Mahmood Mazari (independent), Sarwar Abbas of the PPPP and Wali Muhammad Sajid of the PML-N are in the field.
In 1988, PPP’s Sardar Ashiq Mazari won here by defeating Sardar Nasrullah Dareshak with a narrow margin of 374 votes. Mir Balkh Sher Mazari won here in 1977, 1990 and 1993. Mr Dareshak won the polls on this seat in the last elections, defeating Mir Balkh Sher Mazari. He is banking on the support from the Legharis and his own tribe that is inhabited in the same constituency in a majority. Khalid Bashir is a nephew of Mr Balkh Sher, who is enthusiastically campaigning for him. The support from the Mazaris and withdrawal of PML-N’s Wali Muhammad favours him. Mr Abbas has the support of settlers but he is unlikely to trail the two Sardars.
Mr Dareshak and Mr Mazari are set to give a tough time to each other, but the former enjoys the backing of the government.
PP-247: The total registered voters in PP-247 are 155,312. Of those, 85,140 are male and 70,172 female. It is a Jampur constituency where Abdul Rauf Khan Lund of the PPPP, Makhdoom Syed Nadeem Shah of the PML-N and Awais Ahmad Khan of the NA will try their luck.
Rauf Lund is new face in the arena and depends on the support from his tribe. He may prove a good spoiler for Mr Awais Ahmad Khan who won here in 1997. In 1988, his uncle Jaffar Leghari emerged successful on this seat from the PPP’s platform. His father, Sardar Farooq Leghari, and Sardar Nasrullah Dareshak are making efforts to bring him into power. Mr Shah will give him a tough fight as he is enjoying the support of the Mazaris and the Syeds. Overall, a head to head clash is expected between Mr Awais and Mr Shah.
PP-248: The total registered voters in PP-248 are 150,141. Of those, 82,332 are male and 67,809 female.
Sardar Muhammad Tariq Dareshak of the MMA, Sardar Shahik Haider Khan Gorchani of the PML-N, Sardar Karim Nawaz Koreja of the PPPP and Hasnain Bahadur Dareshak (independent) are the main contestants on this seat.
Sardar Dareshak is the son of Nasrullah Dareshak and is a candidate of the Leghari-Dareshak alliance, though he is not using the tag of the MP. It is the home seat of Dareshaks where Sardar Nasrullah won in 1988 and 1990. His nephew Amanullah Dareshak continued the winning streak in 1993 and 1997. Haider Gorchani, son of Farooq Goresh Gorchani, enjoys the support from Mr Balkh Sher Mazari. Tariq Dareshak, a cousin of Hasnain, is also a strong runner because of the right-wing voters’ support. He will share the Dareshaks votes, thus damaging Hasnain’s position. Mr Koreja is depending on the PPP vote bank and support of the pro-PPP tribes like the Lunds and the Buzdars. His own tribe has a good vote bank in the area. A quadrangle fight is on the cards here, but Mr Shahik has an advantage due to a split in the Dareshaks.
PP-249: The total registered voters in PP-249 are 141,112. Of those, 77,849 are male and 63,263 female. Sardar Awais Dareshak of the MMA, Sharif Muhammad Amir Koreja of the PPPP, Sardar Muhammad Amanullah Dareshak of the MP and Rao Ziaul Latif of the PML-N are the main contenders here.
Awais Dareshak is enjoying the support of the politico-religious parties. The locals say Sardar Nasrullah Dareshak is covertly supporting him also. Sardar Amanullah is the son of Ramzan Dareshak, who was elected as an MPA in 1962. In 1988, Sardar Nasrullah Dareshak defeated him. He is banking on the Leghari-Dareshak alliance and his own tribe. The Mazaris are supporting Mr Latif from this constituency. Mr Koreja has the support from the PPP and the settlers. A split in Dareshak’s votes may turn the air in favour of either Mr Latif or Mr Koreja. However, Awais Dareshak is considered to be the potential winning candidate.
PP-250: The total registered voters in PP-250 are 150,997. Of those, 85,396 are male and 65,601 female.
Musarrat Aziz Mazari (independent), Khwaja Ghulam Farid Koreja of the PPPP and Sardar Shaukat Husain Mazari (independent) are the main contestants for the traditional seat of Mazaris.
A neck and neck fight is on the cards between the two Mazaris. Musarrat Aziz Mazari is the nephew of Mir Balkh Sher Mazari and has his full support. Shaukat Mazari won here in 1988 on a PPP ticket. He is the son-in-law of former MNA Sardar Ashiq Mazari. The locals believe Farooq Leghari will support Musarrat Mazari due to his political rivalry with Sardar Ashiq Mazari and that will give Musarrat an edge over his rival.
Political bigwigs like Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan and Malik Ghulam Mustafa Khar belong to the Muzaffargarh district. This area has a chequered history. It was considered to be a stronghold of the PPP till 1990, after which that the PML-N held sway. The Nawabzada and the Khar groups control the local politics. Former federal minister and former Punjab governor Malik Ghulam Mustafa Khar and his brother, Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan and son Mansoor Ali Khan, are out of the arena because they did not qualify under the graduation condition. However, they have fielded their kin.
The Khars, the Syeds, the Hunjras, the Buzdars, the Qureshis, the Hanse, the Janglas, the Dahas, the Raos, the Jatois and the Gopangs are the main clans inhabited here. Mr Khar, despite being disqualified, is active in the local politics and is warming the political atmosphere through his presence in the campaigning scenes. Although, he has once again left his mother party, the PPP’s voters still respect him. The district comprises of five NA and 11 PA seats. It consists of the Muzaffargarh, the Kot Addu, the Jatoi, the Alipur and the Khangarh tehsils.
NA-176: The total registered voters in NA-176 are 259,766. Of those, 141,088 are male and 118,678 female. Kot Addu tehsil and some areas of the Muzaffar Garh tehsil constitute this constituency where Tahir Miladi Khar (independent), Dr Ghulam Qadir of the MMA, Khalida Mohsin Ali Qureshi of the PPP and Malik Ghulam Qasim Hinjra of the PML-QA are the main contestants.
It is the home seat of the Khars. Mustafa Khar remained unbeaten here since 1970. This time, his nephew Tahir Khar is in the field to capture his uncle’s seat and enjoys his full support. Mustafa Khar is going from door to door to ensure maximum votes for his nephew. Khalida Qureshi is the spouse of PPP’s stalwart Mohsin Ali Qureshi and is banking on the support of the Nawabzadas. She is running an impressive election campaign. Her presence in the run can be looked upon as a threat to Tahir Khar’s position and both are set to give tough time to each other. Qasim Hinjra is a relative of district nazim Sultan Hinjra and enjoys his support. Therefore, it is going to be a triangular fight in which Tahir Khar is the potential winning candidate.
NA-177: The total registered voters in NA-177 are 256,806. Of those, 137,002 are male and 119,804 female. It is again a traditional seat of the Khars where Muhammad Basit Khar of the PML-N, Muhammad Shahnawaz Khar (independent), Rana Muhammad Naseem Akhtar of the PPP, Hina Rabbani Khar of the PML-QA, Arshad Mehmood Leghari of the MMA and Khalid Gormani (independent) are the main contestants.
This seat is also called Mustafa Khar’s seat, but this time three Khars are battling it out. Basit Khar does not enjoy support of his uncle, but is likely to get a chunk of the Khars votes. Shahnawaz has full support of his uncle and stands prominent in the run. Hina Khar, daughter of former MNA Rabbani Khar, enjoys the support from the district nazim and a part of the Khars vote bank. Mr Gormani is a relative of former Punjab governor Mushtaq Ahmad Gormani.
NA-178: The total registered voters in NA-178 are 256,806. Of those, 148,385 are male and 125,514 female. Muzafargarh city and areas of Alipur South and Khangarh South form this constituency where Nawabzada Sultan Ahmad Khan of the PDP, Muhammad Shahid Jamil of the PML-QA, Mehr Tanvir Jangla of the MMA and Gul Zaman (independent) are the main runners.
Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan and Atta Qureshi twice defeated each other on this seat. Mr Khan is a nephew of Nasrullah Khan. In the local bodies polls, the Nawabzada group managed to control a majority of the union councils and, therefore, around 50 nazims are supporting Mr Sultan. Mr Jamil was given the PML-QA’s ticket against the wishes of the party’s district President Ata Qureshi. He, therefore, does not have the support of the PML-QA. However, the district nazim is supporting him. Mr Zaman is the son-in-law of Ata Qureshi who formed the Ghareeb Dost Group after the PML-QA’s leaders refused to allot tickets to him. Mr Zaman is likely to get good support from the Qureshis. Mr Jangla will get the votes from the right-wing. It will be a one to one contest between Mr Sultan and Mr Zaman in which the former may win the race.
NA-179: The total registered voters in NA-179 are 259,395. Of those, 140,712 are male and 118,683 female. It’s the Jatoi tehsil constituency where Basit Sultan Bokhari of the PML-QA, Jamil Husain Bokhari of the PML-N and Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan Jatoi of the PPPP are the main contestant.
This constituency was once considered to be a stronghold of the Jatois, but the Gopangs and the Bokharis joined hands and got control over the areas. Basit Sultan Bokhari is the son of former MNA Makhdoom Abdullah Shah. He was elected an MPA in 1997. He is banking on the support of his own and the Gopang clan. Syed Jamil Bokhari, former provincial minister, is the uncle of Basit Sultan. Despite immense pressure, he did not turned his back on the PML-N. He enjoys a good reputation in the area and is likely to get a major chunk of his family vote bank. Mr Qayyum is the brother of former provincial minister Sardar Nasrullah Jatoi. He has the support of his clan and the PPP. The locals say the Khars and the Nawabzadas are indirectly supporting him. In the possible triangular fight, Mr Qayyum has an edge because of the split in the vote bank of the Bokharis.
NA-180: The total registered voters in NA-180 are 257,432. Of those, 137,628 are male and 119,804 female. It is an Alipur and Jatoi tehsil constituency where a tough fight between Sardar Ashiq Gopang of the PML-QA and Qayyum Jatoi is expected. Muhammad Shafi Khan of the MMA is another candidate here and he is likely to play a spoiler.
Mr Gopang was an MPA and enjoys the support from the Makhdooms and district nazim Sultan Mahmood Hinjra. Sardar Qayyum will again bank on the PPP’s vote bank, his clan and support of the Nawabzada group. Apparently, Qayyum is leading his rival here, despite the settlement of the entire Gopang clan in the constituency.
PP-251: The total registered voters in PP-251 are 113,045. Of those, 62,712 are male and 50,333 are female. It is the Kot Addu constituency where five candidates will try their luck. Mrs Khalida Mohsin Ali Qureshi of the PPPP, Maulana Abdul Jalil of the MMA and Ahmad Yar Hinjra of the PML-QA are the main contenders.
Mrs Qureshi is enjoying the support from the Qureshi and the Khar clans. Interestingly, PML-QA district President Ata Qureshi is also supporting her. Mr Hinjra, a relative of district nazim Sultan Mahmood Hinjra, is contesting elections on the baradari’s support. Mr Jalil of the JUI-F is considered to be the weakest of the three, although, he has some support as he runs a large chain of madressas in the district and enjoys the support from the right-wing voters. Mrs Qureshi stands a favourite candidate in this constituency.
PP-252: The total registered voters in PP-252 are 123,692. Of those, 66,803 are male and 56,889 female. Malik Waseem Pasha Tajamal of the PPP, Tahir Miladi Khar (independent), Tariq Ahmad Gormani (independent) and Malik Ghulam Murtaza Khar of the PML-QA are the main contenders from this constituency.
Mr Gormani is a relative of former Punjab governor Mushtaq Ahmad Gormani and enjoys his influence in the area. Mr Pasha is enjoying the support from the PPP and Mr Qureshi. Ghulam Mustafa Khar is supporting his nephew Tahir Khar rather than his brother Murtaza Khar. Mr Gormani can benefit from the differences in the Khar family.
PP-253: The total registered voters in PP-253 are 116,524. Of those, 63,528 are male and 52,996 female. Ahsanul Haq Ahsan Nolatia of the PPPP, Maulana Abdul Majeed Farooqi of the MMA and Malik Ghulam Murtaza Rahim Khar of the PML-QA are the three main candidates here.
Ghulam Murtaza is the son of Rahim Khar and nephew of Ghulam Mustafa Khar and is enjoying their support. Mr Ahsan depends on the support from the PPP and the Nawabzada group. Mr Farooqi is making all-out efforts to match the strength of the competitors. He is associated with the JUI (Samiul Haq group). He enjoys the support from the Chandias and the Jats of the area. A tough match is likely to take place between Mr Ahsan and Mr Rahim Khar.
PP-254: The total registered voters in PP-254 are 137,805. Of those, 72,739 are male and 65,066 female. This is a provincial constituency where 10 candidates are in the field. Erum Waheed Khan of the PDP, Sardar Amjad Hameed Khan Dasti of the PML-QA, Sardar Ghulam Qadir Chandia of the PPP and Nasir Abbas of the PML-N are the main contenders for the seat.
Former MPA Mr Dasti is a relative of former Punjab Chief Minister Abdul Hameed Dasti. He is enjoying support of the Dasti tribe, district administration and will get an advantage of Mr Hameed Dasti’s reputation. Erum Waheed Khan is one of the strong candidates in the field. Mr Chandia and Mr Abbas are comparatively weaker candidates.
PP-255: The total registered voters in PP-255 are 121,639. Of those, 65,158 are male and 56,481 female. Nawazish Ali Khan (independent), Malik Jawad Kamran Khar of the PML-QA, Malik Ijaz Husain Budh of the MMA, Dr Sohail Alam Gujjar of the PPP and Munir Ahmed Chandia of the PML-N are in the run.
Mr Kamran Khar is a nephew of former MPA Haji Farooq and enjoying the support of the Khar clan. Mr Khan stands a good chance as he has a good reputation in the area. Mr Hussain Budh is looking forward to the clan’s support. Mr Gujjar is not a strong candidate. A triangular fight is expected between Mr Kamran Khar, Mr Gujjar and Mr Khan in which Mr Budh can prove a spoiler for Mr Gujjar.
PP-256: The total registered voters in PP-256 are 116,660. Of those, 63,373 are male and 53,287 female. Alhaj Mian Zahoor Bhatti of the MMA, Imtiaz Aleem Hashmi of the PML-QA and Sania Mansoor of the PJP are the main contenders here.
Mr Zahoor wanted to step in the field from the PML-QA’s platform, but the party gave the ticket to Mr Hashmi because he had good relations with district nazim Sultan Mahmood Hunjras. Sania Mansoor is the daughter of former Punjab Revenue Minister Mansoor Ali Khan and granddaughter of Nawabzada Nasrullah. Mr Hashmi is enjoying the support of Mr Hunjra and is tipped as a spoiler for Mr Zahoor.
A head to head contest is likely to take place between Sania Mansoor and Mr Zahoor in which Sania has an edge because of Nawabzada’s support.
PP-257: The total registered voters in PP-257 are 117,240. Of those, 62,979 are male and 54,261 female. Nawabzada Muhammad Ahmad of the PJP, Ahmad Karim Qaswar of the PML-QA, Gul Zaman (independent) and Tanvir Jangla of the MMA are in the run.
Mr Ahmad has the support from the Nawabzada lobby. He is also the candidate of the PPP and the PML-N and this alliance has made him a strong candidate. Mr Zaman is the son-in-law of PML-QA district President Ata Qureshi. He is enjoying the support from the National Alliance. Mr Jangla is representing his clan where the right-wing voters will support him. All other things being equal, Mr Ahmad and Mr Zaman are the tough candidates.
PP-258: The total registered voters in PP-258 are 108,998. Of those, 58,790 are male and 50,208 female. The main contenders from this constituency are Rana Rehmatullah of the MMA, Syed Haroon Ahmad Sultan Bokhari of the PML-QA, Syed Ali Haider of the PPP and Ali Raza alias Behram Khan of the PDP.
Mr Bokhari is the son of former provincial minister Abdullah Shah. He enjoys the support from the Gopang clan. Mr Raza is from the Nawabzada’s group, but does not enjoy a good reputation among the locals. Mr Haider is relying on the PPP and the PML-N’s vote bank. The real fight is expected between Mr Bokhari and Mr Raza.
PP-259: The total registered voters in PP-259 are 116,432. Of those, 63,393 are male and 53,039 female. Mian Muhammad Shoaib Ashiq Daha of the MMA, Liaquat Ali Khan of the PML-QA and Muhammad Ziaullah Khan Jatoi are the main contenders among the seven candidates in the run.
Mr Jatoi is a relative of former provincial minister Sardar Nazar Muhammad Jatoi and Qayyum Jatoi. He is enjoying the support of his clan in the area. A triangular fight between Mr Jatoi, Mr Khan and Ashiq Daha is expected. However, Mr Jatoi has an edge because of the influence of his clan.
PP-260: The total registered voters in PP-260 are 109,566. Of those, 58,501 are male and 51,065 female. Yasir Arafat Khan (independent), Afzal Mustafa of the PML-QA and Syed Riaz Hussain Kazmi of the MMA are battling here.
Mr Arafat is a strong candidate as he enjoys the support from the PPP and the PML-N. Mr Mustafa is relying on the PML-QA’s voters while Mr Kazmi on the right-wing voters. The perception is that Mr Arafat will win here.
PP-261: The total registered voters in PP-261 are 125,697. Of those, 66,839 are male and 58,858 female. Three candidates namely, Amir Talal Gopang of the PML-QA, Syed Qaim Ali Shah (independent) and Rao Waheed of the MMA are contesting from this constituency.
Mr Gopang is a son of former provincial minister Ashiq Gopang and he is enjoying his clan’s support. The Bokharis are supporting the PML-N’s Mr Shah who is a potential winning candidate on this seat.
Layyah is the newly established district, which comprises of the Choubara, the Karor Lal Esan and the Layyah tehsils. Previously it was included in the Muzaffargarh district, but was given the status of a district after the new set-up.
This district is in the Thal desert belt where the majority of locals and settlers earn their living by growing grain on sandy-agricultural land. Despite a low literacy rate and close to no communication resources, people are social. Previously, there were two national and five provincial assembly seats. The Syeds, the Pathans, the Jats, the Sehars, the Awans and the Arain are the major clans in this district.
During the last decade, sectarian violence disturbed the traditional fervour of politics. But now the government has managed to control the situation.
NA-181: The total registered voters in NA-181 are 275,756. Of those, 148,453 are male and 127,303 female. This NA seat comprises areas of Choubara and Karor Lal Esan tehsils where Sardar Bahadur Ahmad Khan Sehar of the PML-QA, Syed Musa Raza Shah Naqvi of the PPPP, Hafiz Muhammad Rab Nawaz Farooqi of the MMA and Sahibzada Faizul Hassan of the PML-N are the main contenders.
It is the home seat of Mr Faizul Hassan who won here in 1988 (Islami Ittehad), 1990 (IJI) and 1997 (PML-N). Mr Sehar enjoys the support from district nazim Shahabuddin Sehar, councillors and nazims. The MMA’s Mr Farooqi is not much popular among the right-wing candidates and is weaker than his rivals. A tough fight is on the cards between Mr Farooqi and Mr Hassan and the latter has a slight edge.
NA-182: The total registered voters in NA-182 are 305,562. Of those, 162,718 are male and 142,844 female. It’s the Layyah city’s main seat on which a triangular contest steals the limelight between Muhammad Saqlain Shah Bokhari of the PML-N, Malik Niaz Ahmad Jhakar of the PPPP and Malik Ghulam Haider Thind of the PML-QA.
Former MNA Ahmad Jhakar is a seasoned politician and he is enjoying a solid support in the area. Mr Thind was twice elected MNA and has a good support of the Thind clan.
The real fight will be between Mr Jhakar and the Thind’s representative. However, the PPPP candidate has an edge because of the split in the PML-N’s local leadership on a provincial seat.
PP-262: The total registered voters in PP-262 are 119,806. Of those, 64,206 are male and 55,600 female. Chaudhry Altaf Husain of the PML-QA, Malik Ahmad Ali Aulakh of the PML-N, Saeed Ahmad Samtia of the PPP, Chaudhry Inamul Haq of the SDA and Qari Rab Nawaz Farooqi of the MMA are the main contenders.
Mr Samtia will make the most of the internal differences in the PML-QA. Earlier, the nomination papers of Altaf Husain were first rejected and the ticket was issued to Inamul Haq but then his nomination papers were accepted and the party issued him the ticket. A split in the Arain voters will benefit Mr Samtia. Former MPA Ali Aulakh is a strong candidate, but Altaf Husain is allegedly denting his vote bank.
PP-263: The total registered voters in PP-263 are 115,187. Of those, 61,283 are male and 53,904 female. Haji Muhammad Allah Baksh Samtia of the PML-QA, Sardar Iftikhar Ali Khan Sehar of the PML-N and Safdar Abbas Bhatti are the runners here.
A close fight is expected between Mr Bhatti and Mr Sehar. The local administration is said to be overtly supporting Mr Samtia and that might damage his position. Mr Bhatti is enthusiastically running his campaign. He has a good reputation in the area.
PP-264: The total registered voters in PP-264 are 110,465. Of those, 59,399 are male and 51,066 female. Asghar Ali Gujjar of the MMA and Ghulam Mohyuddin of the PML-QA are likely to give a tough time to each other.
The local leaders of the PPPP and the PML-N are supporting Mr Gujjar. Mr Mohyuddin is relying on the support from the Layyah district nazim Shahabuddin Sehar.
PP-265: The total registered voters in PP-265 are 109,486. Of those, 58,608 are male and 50,878 female. A triangular fight is expected between Sardar Sajid Husain Tangwani of the PML-QA, Malik Noor Nabi Jhakar of the PPP and Ejaz Ahmad Achlana of the PML-N.
PP-266: The total registered voters in PP-266 are 126,374. Of those, 67,675 are male and 58,699 female. Asghar Ali Gujjar of the MMA, Malik Abdul Shakoor Swag of the PML-N, Hafiz Jameel Ahmad (independent) and Fazal Husain Samra of the PML-QA are the main candidates from this constituency.
A neck and neck fight is expected between all the four candidates. The locals believe Mr Samra is likely to play a spoiler for Mr Swag. *