MANSEHRA, April 21: A tough competition is expected among the candidates of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl and Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf for two National Assembly and five provincial assembly seats in Mansehra district during the upcoming general elections.
According to the final list of contenders issued by Election Commission of Pakistan, JUI-F, PML-N, PTI and Jamaat-i-Islami have fielded their candidates for almost all seats in the district.
Thirteen candidates are in the run for NA-20, Mansehra-I, but a real contest is expected among Syed Qasim Shah of JUI-F, Azam Khan Swati of PTI, Sardar Mohammad Yousuf of PML-N and Younas Khattak of JI.
For NA-21, a total of nine candidates are in the run but a real competition is expected among PML-N candidate Mohammad Safdar, the son-in-law of Mian Nawaz Sharif, Laiq Mohammad Khan of JUI- F, Nawabzada Salahud Din Saeed of PTI and Maulana Abdul Malik of JI.
Although PML-N has not fielded any candidate for PK-53 owing to its internal rift, yet there are 18 contenders in the field from this urban constituency of Mansehra.
Shuja Salim Khan of PPP, Dr Tariq Sherazi of JI, Khuram Shahzad of PTI and independents Tariq Khan Swati, Babar Khan Swati and Sardar Zahoor are considered strong candidates for this provincial assembly seat.
Interestingly, two real brothers Syed Akhtar Shah and Ahmad Shah are also among the 12 candidates, taking part in the elections from PK-54 constituency. Mazhar Qasim of JUI-F, Mian Ziaur Rehman of PML-N and both the Shah brothers are considered strong contenders from this constituency.
For PK-55, a total of 12 candidates are in the run but a real contest is expected among Saleh Mohammad Khan of PML- N, Mufti Kifayatullah of JUI- F, Sajid Mumtaz Khan of PTI and independent candidate Shahzada Gustasip Khan.
Likewise, the names of 10 candidates are included in the final list issued for PK-56 but Wajihuzaman Khan of PML-N and Maulana Nasir Mehmood of JUI-F are considered the real contenders from this constituency.
Similarly, eight contenders are in the run for PK-57 but a real competition is expected among independent candidate Habibur Rehman, Sakhi Mohammad Tanoli of PML-N, Mohammad Ibrar of Qaumi Watan Party, Mohammad Siddique of JI and Khan Mohammad of JUI-F.
For the first time, four women candidates are taking in the elections in Mansehra district. However, there are little chances that any of them will pose any challenge to their rivals.
Among the women candidates, Shaheen Zamir is contesting from the conservative NA-21 constituency, Rashida Bibi from PK-56 constituency and Sajida Tabbasum and Syeda Gulnaz Shah from PK-53 constituency. In the past, PK -58 was a part of Mansehra but now it has become a constituency of Torghar district.
A total of eight candidates are in the run for the sole provincial assembly seat in Torghar but a real contest is expected among Nimroz Khan of ANP, Zareen Gul of JUI-F, Ameerullah Khan of PTI and Mohammad Zafarullah Khan of PML-N.