Mapping from Peshawar’s NA-1 to Karachi’s NA-248, Dawn.com takes a peek at some major national constituencies as the election momentum builds with the polls only a day away.
NA-1 is among the four seats spanning over Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Peshawar district. It is mainly inhabited by Pashto, Hindko and Persian speakers and is also home to a small number of members from religious minority communities. The seat is viewed as an ANP stronghold and mainly features the Bilours as contenders from the party.
The seat was won in 2002 by MMA’s Shabbir Ahmed Khan with Usman Bashir Bilour of ANP coming second. In 2008, the seat was won by ANP’s Ghulam Ahmed Bilour with PPP’s Ayub Shah as runner-up.
This year, the seat will see a contest among 18 candidates. Some of the main contenders for the seat are ANP’s Ghulam Ahmed Bilour, PTI chief Imran Khan, PPP’s Mohammad Zulfikar Afghani, JUI-F’s Haji Shah Nawaz and JI’s Shabbir Ahmed Khan.
NA-7 is an important seat from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Charsadda district which is home to several famous politicians.
In 2008, ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan won from the constituency, beating PPP’s Naseer Mohammad Khan by a huge margin.
Earlier in 2002, the seat landed with MMA’s Gohar Shah as opposed to Asfandyar Wali Khan who had been tipped to sweep the election for Charsadda-I.
This time around, the major contestants for NA-7 are Asfandyar Wali Khan, PTI’s Fazal Mohammad Khan, PPP’s Khanimullah, JI’s Mohammad Arshad Khan and JUI-F’s Gohar Shah. The contest this year will also feature PML-N’s Kaleem Akbar Durrani.
NA-24 (Dera Ismail Khan)
The seat constitutes parts of the Dera Ismail Khan district which is home to Pashtuns, ethnic Baloch as well as a significant number of Urdu-speaking people. NA-24 has alternatively been won by JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman and members of the Kundi family.
In 2002, Rehman won the seat on an MMA ticket with Faisal Karim Kundi of PPP as runner-up. The 2008 election saw a reversal in the winner and runner-up slots as Kundi trounced Rehman and was elected to represent NA-24.
In 2013, the main contenders for the seat are Fazlur Rehman, PPP’s Waqar Ahmed Khan, PTI’s Mustafa Kundi, JI’s Zahid Mohibullah Khan and PML-N’s Rehan Malik.
Located in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, NA-26 is the seat for the district of Bannu. The mainly rural district has seen a sharp rise in militancy and has been a site of several attacks led by the Pakistani Taliban.
In 2002, MMA’s Maulana Naseeb Ali Shah won the seat with PML-Q-backed independent candidate Mohammad Mustafa Khan as runner-up. Following Shah’s death, Ziad Akram Durrani of MMA returned on the seat in a by-election.
In 2008, JUI-F’s Fazlur Rehman won from the seat with a considerable margin on an MMA ticket with independent candidate Malik Nisar Khan as runner-up.
In 2013, the seat’s major contenders are JUI-F’s Akram Khan Durrani, PPP’s Anwar Saifullah Khan, JI’s Mohammad Ibrahim Khan, PTI’s Matiullah Khan and PML-N’s Malik Akhtar Ali Khan.
NA-51 is one of the seven constituencies for Rawalpindi, a district which is home to the headquarters of the Pakistan Army and has witnessed a number of events which have shaped up the country’s political history. The seat spans through areas of Gujjar Khan city, parts of Rawalpindi city’s periphery and several rural farming lands.
Former prime minister and PPP leader Raja Pervez Ashraf won from NA-51 in 2002, surprising many as the seat was previously considered a PML-N stronghold. In that election, PML-Q’s Raja Shaukat Aziz came in second.
In 2008, the seat saw a close race between Ashraf and PML-Q’s Raja Qasim Javed with Ashraf triumphing by 10, 557 votes. Others who contested for the seat were Chaudhry Mohammad Riaz of PML-N and two independent candidates — Saleem Akram and Yahya Faiz.
This year, the seat will feature a contest among 20 candidates. Some of the key contenders for the seat are Ashraf, PML-N’s Raja Mohammad Javed Ikhlas and PTI’s Farhat Faheem Bhatti.
The constituency of NA-52 comprises of parts of Rawalpindi city and Taxila. Prior to delimitation carried out during the reign of former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, NA-52 and NA-53 comprised one constituency.
Traditionally a PML-N stronghold, the 2002 election on NA-52 saw its leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan winning with PML-Q’s Mohammad Nasir Raja coming second.
The race between the two continued in 2008, with Chaudhry Nisar emerging victorious again and beating Nasir Raja by 42,759 votes. Chaudhry Nisar, who had also won from NA-53 (Rawalpindi-IV), decided to retain that seat, vacating NA-52. This was followed by a by-election on NA-52 in which PML-Q’s Nasir Raja again came second with PML-N’s Mohammad Safdar winning.
This time around, the main contenders for the seat are Chaudhry Nisar and PML-Q’s Mohammad Basharat Raja.
NA-55 comprises parts of Rawalpindi city.
In 2002, Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed won as an independent candidate from NA-55 with PPP’s Agha Riazul Islam coming in second. Hailing from Rawalpindi and enjoying considerable clout in the city, Sheikh Rasheed surprisingly lost the seat in 2008.
In the 2008 polls, the contest was expected to be tough between Sheikh Rasheed and Javed Hashmi with PPP’s Malik Aamer Fida Paracha also added to the mix as a strong candidate given the assassination of Benazir Bhutto still fresh in the voters’ imagination. Javed Hashmi won from NA-55 with a significant margin but vacated the seat in order to retain NA-149 (Multan-II). A by-election was then held, with PML-N’s Haji Pervaiz Khan securing the seat only to lose it over the examination scandal. In 2010, a second by-election was held for the seat with Malik Shakil Awan of PML-N sweeping the polls.