Musharraf meets Begum Saira Bano, the APML candidate for NA-120. – Photo courtesy Facebook

In a bid to break Mian Nawaz Sharif’s vote bank, former military dictator Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf has fielded a woman candidate to run in the elections against him from Lahore.

Begum Saira Bano will be contesting against the PML-N chief from his Lahore constituency of NA-120.

The lady candidate is no ordinary woman but is the grand-daughter of famous subcontinent wrestler Gama Pehlwan, daughter of Bhola Pehlwan and wife of Jhara Pehlwan. Belonging to a dynasty of famous wrestlers, Bano is set to give Sharif a good run for his money in the May 11 polls.

On top of that, Bano is also the cousin of the Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) chief’s wife, Begum Kulsoom Nawaz, also a grand daughter of Gama Pehlwan.

Sharif, through his nephew Hamza Shahbaz, had submitted his nomination papers to contest the polls from the said constituency last week.

Kushti (mud-wrestling) culture is fading away from Lahore, like from all other areas where it was considered the most popular sport. However, the three famous Pehlwans, mentioned above, have left such cherished memories in the minds of Lahoris, that having an affiliation with them would mean some moral support to say the least.

How much of this support will translate into votes is still to be seen. Nevertheless, it will be a good show adding more colour to the already much talked about general elections.

Imran Kazmi is a journalist working for Dawn.com

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Comments are closed.

Comments (67)

sraz45
April 3, 2013 7:46 pm
Musharaf has the least chance of getting a single seat in the next election. His exit from Pakistan was a wrong political move, people do not trust him. Nawaz Sharif is a low level political, arrogant ill mannered.He should not be ever reelected. Leaves Imran Khan he is the man of the present, he has honed himself in the past 16 years, think of him and a new direction for Pakistan with its youth as the center piece.
Asif Kashmiri
April 3, 2013 7:48 pm
Great.
Malik
April 3, 2013 7:56 pm
Can she write her name? Yes? Great, she can be a politician!
Muhammad Farooq
April 3, 2013 8:06 pm
wow, we are in for some fun now :)
Sean
April 3, 2013 8:16 pm
When Nawaz loses at least he'll have an excuse that he lost to a Pehlwan!! lol
Mashman
April 3, 2013 8:16 pm
Let the games begin
PakFan
April 3, 2013 8:20 pm
Pehelwaan Pakistan ki Assemblies mai raj kar rehay hain or qoom ko dooron par nacha rehay hain - no wonder Pakistan ka ye hal hai.
Nouman
April 3, 2013 8:31 pm
Nawaz and Musharraf have another opponent in the constituency named PTI. I think Musharraf should not waste his famous candidates in contesting against readily heated seats, he rather should try to grab seats by putting his team at places where others have weak runnings.
excalibur
April 3, 2013 9:02 pm
The picture says all about the sinister agenda of the so called lifafa journalist
marghoob ahmed siddiqui
April 3, 2013 9:06 pm
I wish and pray GOD that he is defeated by her. It will be a day of pride and joy for nation.
jd shami
April 3, 2013 9:41 pm
This no good commando-dictator is still roaming in Pakistan, very strange, someone should get him.
Mustafa
April 3, 2013 9:44 pm
Can the commando himself contest election against Nawaz Shareef without his uniform? This will give Mush an idea of how people 'love' him.
rashid
April 3, 2013 10:08 pm
former president not former military dictator whats wrong with dawn?.. once a president always a president.
NA-32
April 3, 2013 10:21 pm
Dear Brother, There are some decent & loyal people living in a place called CHITRAL,Insha Allah from NA-32 Pervez Musharraf will win the National Assembly seat.We the people of Chitral have not forgot the time when Pakistan was on a progress..
Fazal Karim
April 3, 2013 10:46 pm
Musharraf saheb should have restored true democracy in 2007 when his popularity was at peak and there after should have formed a new secular political party. I am shure he had good chance of winning in 2008 election. He has all the qualities of leadership. although late but he can come back to lead the country through democratically elected government but in the next general election. Until then he will have to strugle hard and will have to go through tortures. Ultimately people of Pakistan will realise his leadership qualities. For countries sake he will have to choose path which was adopted by our earlier freedom fighters.
Omer
April 3, 2013 11:03 pm
can nawaz do the same in his home town karachi
Pakistani
April 3, 2013 11:30 pm
Nawaz pehlwan or Musharaf Pehlwan is not to blame. People just love them & they are ready to vote them again. No wonder why we don't have electricity at night & a decent job in the day.
jd shami
April 3, 2013 11:40 pm
Keep wishing, nothing wrong with it. Ur prayers will also be useless, pray for u and ur family.
asim
April 3, 2013 11:46 pm
You can not change the color. He was a dictator and never been an elected president. don't try to twist the facts and history. Still that generation is alive who has witnessed the breaking through dark night.
asim
April 3, 2013 11:48 pm
It is not required. Thumb print is enough.
Cyrus Howell
April 3, 2013 11:49 pm
Nawaz Sharif would be a better politician if he would learn how to smile.
Mashooq Ali, Chitral, Pakistan
April 3, 2013 11:58 pm
Musharraf is a dignified person and forced foreign countries to respect Pakistan not like Nawaz Sharif Paggarh wala and criminal and killer of Benazir corrupt Asif Zardai.When we compare Musharraf with our filthy political leaders, we are comparing grape versus watermelon. Leave them apart.
Nasr
April 4, 2013 12:07 am
Insha Allah. We will get rid of the already tested (N) Sharif and his Group
Nasr
April 4, 2013 12:09 am
Start spreading the word. You are the well educated in sub urban area so spread the word.
Sarfaraz Shah
April 4, 2013 12:25 am
You are absolutely right, my dear brother from Chitral. Similarly, there are some loyal people living in Karachi. And Karachi is where President Musharraf will win NA-250, INSHALLAH! As for the other friends who have forgotten the excellent economic performance under President Musharraf's time, what can one say? If you have a non-functional memory, please review the difference between '99 and 2008 in KSE levels, forex reserve numbers, GDP growth, dollar-Rs. ratio or pretty much any other metric. Every law abiding Pakistani benefited from President Musharraf's time, when highways were built in Balochistan, Punjab, Sindh and KPK. When Islamabad was beautified with new roads, model villages, parks, new museums and much more. When we walked proudly as Pakistanis. When our President's visit to New York was covered in a positive way by all the major international channels and he was given respect. When we were not ashamed of having our brave President represent us and defend our stance in any international forum. When investments were flowing into Pakistan and there was a construction boom all over the country. It is only the fair, correct, loyal and dignified thing to remember all this. For those who are blind to the facts, I suppose the urdu saying, "Jis thaali mein khaya, us hee mein chaid?" fits very well.
Shahpur
April 4, 2013 12:33 am
I hope this election bring peace and hope for a better tomorrow.
Syed Ahmed
April 4, 2013 12:35 am
Let's see the results of the bout.
Malick
April 4, 2013 12:38 am
Bhutto sb k baad agar koi insan Pakistan k ander bhadur aour gharet mund hai to wo general Musharraf hai jo artical 6 aour phansi k phundey sey darta nahain, kum uz kum Nwaz sey bhadur hai jo bhag gyia thha.
Adnan
April 4, 2013 12:41 am
Rashid, Ever heard about cause and effect? General Musharraf seized power by dismissing an elected government. This is what a military dictator does, not a President. He later imposed himself as the President. Once a military dictator, always a military dictator:)
saminahmed
April 4, 2013 1:03 am
what a good choice! women should vote for her. she will enhance women's interest.
mystical
April 4, 2013 1:48 am
go get hm than why are u waiting than
Yang
April 4, 2013 1:50 am
Oh ballaly ballay.........pahtay chak didtey Mushy
Ibrahim
April 4, 2013 2:08 am
General (Retd) Musharraf, was Pakistan's most successful president, after President Ayub. He deserves another chance. The need of the hour, is an honorable leader, with nerves of steel.
JAVAID KHAN
April 4, 2013 4:15 am
Only a person with no VISION would vote for ZARDARI,MUSHARRAF or NAWAZ.Imran Khan is the automatic choice for all honest Pakistanis.
Shah
April 4, 2013 4:19 am
Mr NA-32. Wish I could give you a 1000 likes for that comment ;)
Shah
April 4, 2013 4:21 am
Would love to see him in power again. Really hope and pray he wins.
Catchapalooza
April 4, 2013 6:09 am
Oh I forgot to add... what have yours truly Zardari and Nawaz being doing all this time? Nothing but planning to rip off the country on every chance they get. There are only two honest leaders in the country at the moment, and those are PM and IK. Open your eyes now before it's too late for Pakistanis and Pakistan.
Pramod
April 4, 2013 6:26 am
Need good leaders, not their family reputation. Musharaf snatched away power and has the audacity to claim he did nothing wrong. Nawaz sharif is the only leader who can handle left wing to right wing ends of the population. As business man has the ability to think in economic terms too.
Naseem
April 4, 2013 6:31 am
A clever move by PM!
Umair Ahmad
April 4, 2013 6:32 am
I think Mush and Nawaz both are dictators and enemy to each other, equally bad to our nation. So no matter who wins
MBA
April 4, 2013 6:58 am
Unfortunately we do not have favorite Pehlwans in this Kushti. As a matter of fact, we don´t even have a fair Kushti. Most of it is shadow-boxing. Military-men in Shalwar-Kurta send ladies to fight for them. Corrupt burocrates and landlords are sending variour "Gentlemen" in the arena. The problems of Pakistan and the real "Kushti" of common people for day-to-day servival is not interesting for these Pehlwans.
Ayub
April 4, 2013 7:07 am
Let us be entertaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiined.
B
April 4, 2013 7:10 am
haha good one!!
Block
April 4, 2013 8:58 am
You deserve Zardari.
Julie C
April 4, 2013 9:16 am
Sorry but Musharraf's past and present tactics show that he is a megalomaniac; out of touch with reality.
Ijaz
April 4, 2013 9:24 am
Some people say, "Imran is an automatic choice" when compared to others. If this is the criteria then there are a lot of other choices as well, so let "You" and "Me" also contest :)
Iqbal
April 4, 2013 9:44 am
that elected government refused to allow his plane land... if you are stopping your own Army Chief from landing in his own country, are you an elected govt?
muhammad
April 4, 2013 9:45 am
Well said
muhammad
April 4, 2013 9:50 am
Parliament of that time accepted him as a President why you are so furious as regards the generation who saw his tenure are still remembering his achievements anybody who has simplest of sense can compare today's government and his rule, which was far better
muhammad
April 4, 2013 9:55 am
As soon as Musharraf landed in Pakistan why lion stopped roaring ?
ch
April 4, 2013 10:04 am
mushi is best for pakistan
muzammil ullah khan
April 4, 2013 10:11 am
very interesting indeed !!
S Bara
April 4, 2013 12:56 pm
Is there going to be some Kushti match?.
raika45
April 4, 2013 1:09 pm
If I am not mistaken Gama Phalwan was a world renowned wrestler who was a world champion.? I am not talking of this present time "staged wrestling" mania you see on TV. I am talking of real wrestling.Can anyone give some insight on this great man?
gangadin
April 4, 2013 3:23 pm
Is she a wrestler too?
Edwardian
April 4, 2013 7:16 pm
What would happen to Atiqa Odhu?
ozman
April 4, 2013 7:59 pm
If you ask me?. Musharaf and Imran should find a common ground and form coallition. I know it is not posible but that would be the best think for the country. Togather they can do a great job.
ozman
April 4, 2013 8:08 pm
Musharaff is not perfact, but the country was in much better shape five years ago then now.
Adnan A
April 5, 2013 1:11 am
Then run in the poles...no one is stopping you.
Adnan A
April 5, 2013 1:11 am
Exactly right!
Sonia K
April 5, 2013 5:33 am
If sports were anything to account for- then the lady might stand a chance to gain from the line of names- but this might not just materialize- a 'fading' sport is not what PM wants to bet on- it must be the lady's own mettle!!!
M. Alvi
April 5, 2013 6:35 am
That is not a nice joke for a lady.
M. Alvi
April 5, 2013 6:49 am
Actually, he is the only one who is realistic about Pakistan.
Imran Malik
April 5, 2013 9:53 am
ok :)
shahid khan
April 5, 2013 10:40 am
Former dictator or former president
Razi
April 5, 2013 2:45 pm
Dictator.............
pathanoo
April 5, 2013 5:12 pm
She would definitely be better than Nawaz Sharif in that she can not be that corrupt. And, I don't even know any thing about the lady. All I know is how corrupt and venal Nawaz Sharif is. One more thing, I don'r have a dog in this fight. All I wish is peace and Good Luck to Pakistani people who deserve lot better than people like Nawaz Sharif and Zardaris. SAD COMMENTARY ON THE FATE OF PAKISTAN.
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