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