ISLAMABAD, March 31: As many as 143 candidates, including former President Pervez Musharraf and Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Javed Hashmi, filed nomination papers for the two National Assembly seats of Islamabad.
The likely contestants belonged to almost all prominent political parties except the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Q). Kamil Ali Agha, a PML-Q leader, said because of seat adjustment with the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), his party was not contesting from Islamabad.
A large number of independent candidates also filed nominations as the deadline ended on Sunday night. Most of the political parties have not yet finalised their candidates.
According to the statistics of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), the total registered voters in both the constituencies of NA-48 and NA-49 are 614,176 - 330,777 males and 283,399 females.
Six candidates of the PML-N filed their nomination papers for the two seats. They included Anjum Aqeel Khan and Chaudhry Mohammad Ashraf Gujjar from NA-48 and Tariq Fazal Chaudhry from NA-49.
Faisal Sakhi Butt, Imran Ashraf, a brother of former prime minister Raja Parvez Ashraf, from NA-48 and Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar from NA-49 are among the eight candidates of the PPP.
Dr Israr Shah, Dr Shahzad Waseem, Ilyas Mehrban and Hassan Ayub Khan are among the 10 candidates of Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) for the two constituencies. Late on Sunday night, PTI central leader Javed Hashmi also filed nomination for NA-48.
From All Pakistan Muslim League (APML), General (retired) Pervez Musharraf and Ahmed Raza Qasuri filed nominations for NA-48 and Dr Mohammad Amjad for NA-49.
The Jamat-i-Islami has awarded tickets to Mian Mohammad Aslam and Mohammad Khalid for NA-48 and NA-49, respectively.
The MQM candidates for the two seats are former cricketer Sarfraz Nawaz, Changez Khan and Umar Farooq.
Tehrik Tahafuz-i-Pakistan, the political party of renowned nuclear scientist Dr Abdul Qadir Khan, has fielded Aftab Hassan and Rafique Ghuncha in the two constituencies.
Mufti Abdullah and Abdul Rashid of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (F) also filed nomination papers for NA-48 and NA-49.
Mohammad Asghar Khan from Majlis-i-Wahdatul Muslimeen and minority leader J. Salik are also among those who filed nomination papers from NA-48 on Sunday.
The constituency of NA 48 Islamabad-I covers mostly urban area of the federal capital but it also comprises small villages situated on the western side of Islamabad.
In 2008 elections, Anjum Aqeel Khan of the PML-N secured 61,480 votes against PPP’s Dr Syed Israr Shah who got 26,485 votes.
Though Khan is also contesting the lection from the constituency, his nephew, Hassan Ayub Khan, a young journalist and an activist of PTI, has also filed nomination papers for the same seat.
The PTI leader Dr Israr Shah is considered to be a strong candidate in this constituency.
During 2002 elections, Mian Aslam of the JI was elected from NA-48 by defeating Dr Babar Awan of the PPP.
NA-49 Islamabad-II consists of urban as well as rural parts of Islamabad.
In 2008 elections, PML-N’s Tariq Fazal Chaudhry won the seat with 45,482 votes while Chairman Senate Syed Nayyar Hussain Bokhari of the PPP got 44,726 votes and Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar of the PML-Q remained third with 34,546 votes. In 2002 elections, Mr Bokhari defeated Mustafa Khokar.
The process of filing nomination papers for the general elections started on March 24 and 143 candidates filed their papers till 6pm on Sunday.
In the next step, the scrutiny of nomination papers will be carried out from April 1 to 7. The ECP has set April 10 as the deadline for the filing of appeals against the decisions of the returning officers rejecting or accepting the nomination papers.
The election tribunals will decide these appeals by April 17. The candidates will be allowed to withdraw their nominations by April 18. The final list of candidates will be published on April 19.