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.
This year, the contest for NA-55 will feature 23 candidates with Awami Muslim League’s Sheikh Rasheed, PPP’s Chaudhry Iftikhar Ahmed and PML-N’s Shakil Awan as key contenders vying for the seat.
In 2002, this seat for Rawalpindi city first saw Sheikh Rasheed winning, only to vacate it for NA-55. A by-election followed and Hanif Abbasi won the seat on an MMA ticket with Shaikh Rasheed’s nephew, Sheikh Rashid Shafiq, coming second.
Abbasi won again in 2008, this time on a PML-N ticket. PPP’s Sardar Shaukar Hayat Khan was the runner-up while Sheikh Rasheed came in third, managing to get only 10,964 votes.
In 2013, the seat will be contested by 20 candidates with PTI’s Imran Khan, PML-N’s Hanif Abbasi and PPP’s Raja Israr Ahmed Abbasi as chief contenders vying to win from NA-56.
NA-58 is a seat comprising parts of northern Punjab’s Attock district. Its population is mostly engaged in agriculture-related work and is a major recruitment centre for the military due to which politicians who run from the area are more likely to take a pro-army position on policies.
In 2002, PML-Q’s Malik Allah Yar Khan won the seat with PML-N’s Malik Sohail Khan as runner-up. Later in 2008, former Punjab chief minister and PML-Q leader Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi won the seat, narrowly defeating PML-N’s Malik Sohail Khan.
This year, the seat is being fought for by five candidates among whom the key contenders are PML-N’s Malik Aitebar Khan and now PTI’s Malik Sohail Khan.
NA-71 constitutes parts of Mianwali district in the country’s Punjab province. It is dominated by the Afgan Niazi tribe with a majority of its population ethnically Pashtun. Moreover, the region is also known for being a popular spot for army recruitment.
In 2002, PTI chief Imran Khan was elected to represent the constituency with PML-Q’s Obaidullah Khan Shadikhel coming second.
In 2008, the seat was won by independent candidate Nawabzada Malik Ahmed Khan. Amanatullah Khan Shadikhel, who gave up a PML-Q ticket and stood independently, was the runner-up.
This time around 12 candidates, including Imran Khan, PPP’s Shaukat Pervez Khan, and now PML-N’s Obaidullah Khan Shadikhel are running for the seat.
NA-82 is among the 11 National Assembly seats spanning through Punjab’s Faisalabad district. The district is a major industrial centre in Punjab and is the country’s textile capital. At the same time, Faisalabad is among the province’s major agricultural areas.
In 2002, the NA-82 seat for the district saw Sahabzada Fazal Karim winning on a PML-N ticket with PPP’s Nisar Akbar Khan as runner-up. The 2008 election also saw Karim retaining the seat with PPP’s Aezid Mehmood Khan coming second.
This year, NA-82 will see a contest among 22 candidates. The key contenders for the seat are PML-N’s Rana Mohammad Afzal Khan, PTI’s Nisar Akbar Khan, JI’s Mian Mohammad Younus and JUI-F’s Tipu Sultan.
NA-87 (Chiniot-II-cum-Jhang; old NA-88 Jhang-III)
In 2002 and 2008, the main race for the seat was between cousins Faisal Saleh Hayat and Syeda Abida Hussain. Hayat beat Hussain both times. In 2002, Hayat contested on a PPP ticket while Hussain fought from the PML-Q’s platform. However, the 2008 election saw a switch in the parties the two contenders stood from. Other contenders for the seat in 2008 were Rai Sarfraz Ahmed Bhatti and Syed Raza Ali Bukhari.
The key contenders for the seat in the 2013 election are PPP’s Syed Abid Imam and PML-N’s Ghulam Mohammad Lali.
NA-88 (Jhang-cum-Chiniot; old NA-87 Jhang-II)
The region has seen a rise in religious sentiments in the past several years with its clerics becoming increasingly involved in politics. In the past two elections, Ghulam Bibi Bharwana of PML-Q won from NA-87, with PPP’s Syed Asad Hayat Shah and Syeda Sughra Imam coming in second in the 2002 and 2008 elections respectively.
The main contenders for the seat this year are Ghulam Bibi Bharwana, who will be running on a PML-N ticket, and PPP’s Khawaja Ataullah Khan Taunsa Sharif.
NA-89 (Jhang-I; old NA-89 Jhang-IV)
Azam Tariq, a hardline Deobandi cleric accused of killings of many members of the Shia community, won the 2002 election for Jhang district’s NA-89 seat as an independent candidate. In that election, Dr Tahirul Qadri of Pakistani Awami Tehrik was the runner-up with Sheikh Waqas Akram securing the third highest number of votes.
At the time of his 2002 win, Azam Tariq was imprisoned but was released soon after. He was shot dead in October 2003, following which a by-election was held with Sheikh Waqas getting elected to represent the constituency. Azam Tariq’s younger brother, Aalam, was the runner-up in the by-polls.
In 2008, Sheikh Waqas reclaimed the seat from PML-Q’s platform, beating independent candidate Mohammad Ahmed Ludhianvi by 6,760 votes.
For this year, the seat’s main contenders are Mohammad Ahmed Ludhianvi, who is running on a ticket of Muttahida Deeni Mahaz, PPP’s Syed Tariq Gilani, PML-N’s Sheikh Mohammad Akram and JI’s Abdul Jabbar Khan
This seat has traditionally seen a tussle between the Chaudhrys with Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar pitched against one another since 1990. The district of Gujrat is also the hometown of Chaudhry Shujaat and his cousin Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi. It has many local industries which produce furniture, electrical appliances and sanitaryware among other things.
In 2002, Chaudhry Shujaat beat PPP’s Mukhtar by 14,177 votes but in 2008, Mukhtar defeated the PML-Q chief by 13,997 votes.
In the 2013 election, NA-105 will see a contest involving 25 candidates with PPP’s Ahmed Mukhtar, PML-Q’s Pervaiz Elahi and PML-N’s Chaudhry Mubashir Hussain as key contenders for the seat.
One of Pakistan’s most developed districts, Sialkot is also home to many industry-owners who play an important role in shaping up the region’s vote bank. NA-111 is among the five constituencies covering the district.
The 2002 election for the seat was won by PML-Q’s Chaudhry Ameer Hussain with PML-N’s Idrees Ahmed Bajwa as runner-up.
In 2008, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan of PPP won with Ameer Hussain as runner-up.
This time around, the key contenders for the seat are Firdous Ashiq Awan and PML-N’s Chaudhry Armaghan Subhani.
NA-120 is one of the 13 National Assembly seats for the Lahore district.
In 2002, the seat was won by PML-N’s Pervaiz Malik with Altaf Ahmed Qureshi as runner-up. PML-N retained the seat in 2008 with Bilal Yaseen’s win. The runner-up for the seat in 2008 was PPP stalwart Jehangir Badar who was later elected to the Senate.
In 2013, the seat will see a contest among 25 candidates with PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, PPP’s Zubair Kardar and PTI’s Yasmin Rashid as the main contenders.
The seat was won in 2002 by PML-N’s Sardar Ayaz Sadiq with PTI’s Imran as runner-up. In the 2008 election, Sadiq managed to retain the seat and PPP’s Mian Umar Misbahur Rehman came second.
A total of 20 candidates are standing in this year’s election for NA-122. Among them, the key contenders are PTI chief Imran Khan, PML-N’s Ayaz Sadiq and PPP’s Mian Amir Hasan.
In 2002, Javed Hashmi was elected from the seat with Tariq Waheed Butt of PPP as runner-up. In 2008 again, Hashmi secured a comprehensive victory with 67,707 votes, this time the runner-up being Mian Azizur Rehman Chan who managed to get only 18,807 votes as an independent candidate. Javed Hashmi, however, vacated the seat in order to retain NA-149 (Multan-II). A by-election was then held on NA-123 with PML-N’s Mohammad Pervaiz Malik winning and independent candidate Mian Hamid Miraj qualifying as runner-up.
In 2013, the seat will see a contest among 24 candidates with PML-N’s Pervaiz Malik and PPP’s Azizur Rehman Chan as key contenders for the seat. Moreover, the PTI’s growing popularity in Lahore may increase the chances of a win for Atif Chaudhry, the party’s candidate for NA-123.
Another seat for Lahore district, NA-125 witnessed a close contest between Humayun Akhtar Khan and Mohammad Akram Zaki in 2002. Humayun Akhtar was standing from the PML-Q’s platform and Akram Zaki was contesting on a PML-N ticket.
In 2008, however, Humayun Akhtar lost the seat to PML-N’s Khawaja Saad Rafique who secured 70,752 votes. Mohammad Naveed Chaudhry of PPP was the runner-up in the race with 24,592 votes.
The 2013 election will see a contest among 19 candidates with Saad Rafique and Naveed Chaudhry as the main contenders for NA-125.
The site of many shrines of Sufi saints, the district of Multan is also famous for its cultural contributions. NA-148 is among the six constituencies covering the district and has traditionally seen a race between two political heavyweights — Javed Hashmi and Shah Mehmood Qureshi.
In 2002, Shah Mehmood who contested on a PPP ticket beat Javed Hashmi by 32,511 votes.
In 2008, Shah Mehmood again swept the polls beating Rai Mansab Ali of PML-Q with Javed Hashmi securing the third largest number of votes.
Shah Mehmood resigned from NA-148 after joining PTI, following which a by-election was held for the seat in February 2012. The by-poll saw PPP’s Ali Musa Gilani, son of former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, winning with PML-N’s Abdul Ghaffar Dogar securing the second highest number of votes.
This year’s key contenders for NA-148 are Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Ali Musa Gilani and PML-N’s Malik Abdul Ghaffar Dogar.
The seat was won in 2002 by PPP’s Malik Liaquat Ali Dogar with Sheikh Khizar Hayat of MMA coming second. The contest in 2008 saw Javed Hashmi winning from the seat with PPP’s Malik Salahuddin Dogar as runner-up.
Javed Hashmi resigned from the seat after joining PTI following which a by-election was held on NA-149 in February 2012. Tariq Rasheed of PML-N won the by-election with Liaquat Dogar coming second.
This year’s main contenders for the seat are Javed Hashmi, Tariq Rasheed and PPP’s Malik Amir Dogar.
In 2002, Sikander Hayat Bosan, who was running on a PML-Q ticket, beat PPP’s Syed Ahmed Mujtab Gilani while Sultan Alam Ansari of PML-N secured the third highest number of votes.
Former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani of PPP contested against Sikander Hayat Bosan and PML-N’s Majid Bucha, winning from NA-151 by a considerable margin. The seat fell vacant after the Supreme Court disqualified Yousuf Raza Gilani from his post in a contempt of court case. Following the disqualification, a by-election was held on the seat with the former premier’s son, Abdul Qadir Gilani, securing a win. Shokat Hayat Bosan who stood as an independent candidate in the by-polls came in second.
The main contenders vying for NA-151 in the 2013 election are Abdul Qadir Gilani and Sikandar Hayat Bosan, who is running on a PML-N ticket.
NA-172 (Dera Ghazi Khan-II)
Former president Farooq Ahmed Khan Leghari won from NA-172 in 2002 with independent candidate Mohammad Khan Leghari coming second. In 2008, Farooq Leghari contested on a PML-Q ticket and again won the seat with PML-N’s Hafiz Abdul Karim as runner-up.
Following the former president’s death, a by-election on the seat was held with PML-Q’s Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari winning and Hafiz Karim again coming second. The contest also featured PPP’s Shabbir Ahmed Khan Leghari who secured the third largest number of votes in the by-polls.
The seat’s main contenders for the 2013 general election are PML-N’s Hafiz Abdul Kareem, JUI-F’s Abdul Rasheed Khan Bhatti and PML-Q’s Maqsood Khan Leghari.
NA-173 (Dera Ghazi Khan-III)
Farooq Leghari’s son Awais Leghari won from the seat in 2002 with Sardar Hussain Khan Leghari as runner-up. In 2008, Awais Leghari contested on a PML-Q ticket but lost to PML-N’s Saifuddin Khan Khosa in a very tight race by just 401 votes.
In 2013, the seat will see a contest among nine candidates with PPP’s Saifuddin Khosa, JI’s Hafiz Khalid Rauf, JUI-F’s Mohammad Iqbal Rasheed and PTI’s Sajjad Hussain Cheena as key contenders.
NA-177 is among the five National Assembly seats spanning through southern Punjab’s Muzaffargarh district. In 2002, the seat was won by former foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar on a PML-Q ticket. The runner-up that year was independent candidate Khalid Ahmed Gurmani. The 2008 election also saw the same results for winner and runner-up.
This time around, the seat’s contenders are Jamshed Dasti, who is running as an independent candidate, PPP’s Ghulam Rabbani Khar and PML-N’s Khalid Ahmed Gurmani. The contest features a total of 20 candidates.
Another Muzaffargarh seat, NA-178 saw PML-Q candidate Shahid Jamil Qureshi winning the election in 2002 with Sultan Ahmed Khan of Pakistan Democratic Party as runner-up.
In 2008, Jamshed Dasti won from NA-178 on a PPP ticket with Iftikhar Babar of PML-Q as runner-up. The seat fell vacant due to Dasti’s resignation in the fake degree scandal. A by-election was then held for the seat in which Dasti was again elected from the constituency.
In 2013, the seat’s key contenders are Jamshed Dasti, PPP’s Iftikhar Ahmed Khan and PML-N’s Mohammad Abad.
NA-187 is one of the five National Assembly seats spanning over Punjab’s Bahawalpur district.
In 2002, the seat was won by PPP’s Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan with a considerable margin and Chaudhry Khalid Mehmood Jajja of PML-N came second. However, Ahsan vacated the seat in order to retain NA-124. A by-election was therefore held on NA-187 with PML-Q’s Syed Tasneem Nawaz Gardezi emerging as the winner.
In 2008, PML-N’s Chaudhry Saud Majeed won the election on the seat with PML-Q’s Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi as runner-up and PPP’s Iftikhar Ahmed Cheema coming third.
For the 2013 election, the seat’s key contenders are Saud Majeed and PML-Q’s Tariq Bashir Cheema. A total of 11 candidates are running for the seat.
NA-195 (Rahim Yar Khan-IV)
NA-195 is among the six National Assembly seats spanning over southern Punjab’s Rahimyar Khan district. The region is known for its cotton, sugar and edible oil industries.
In 2002, Jahangir Khan Tareen won the seat on a PML-Q ticket with PPP’s Makhdoom Amaduddin as runner-up. In 2008, Janahgir Tareen again won from the constituency, this time on a PML-F ticket, and Amaduddin came second.
Tareen, however, resigned from the seat after joining PTI. A by-election was then held for the seat with PML-F’s Syed Mustafa Mehmood winning by a huge margin and independent candidate Molvi Muhammad Tair Chohan securing the second highest number of votes.
In 2013, the seat will see a contest among 11 candidates, some of them being PPP’s Mustafa Mehmood, JI’s Chaudhry Ihsan Ali, PTI’s Maryam Batool and MQM’s Waheeduddin.
NA-198 (Sukkur-cum-Shikarpur-I; Old Sukkur-I)
In 2002, PPP’s Khurshid Ahmed Shah won from this constituency against Mohammad Asad Thanvi of MMA. The PPP again won the seat in 2008 with Nauman Islam Sheikh securing a huge margin against runner-up Tahir Hussain Shah of PML-Q.
In the 2013 election, the seat will see a contest among 43 candidates with PPP’s Nauman Islam Sheikh, PML-F’s Nadeem Qadir Bhutto and MQM’s Munawwar Ali Chauhan as key contenders.
NA-199 (Sukkur-cum-Shikarpur-II; Old Sukkur-II)
In 2002, the seat was won by PPP’s Abdul Mujeeb Pirzada with Taj Mohammad Sheikh of National Alliance coming second.
Later in 2008, Khurshid Shah won the seat with Taj Mohammad as runner-up. Taj, who ran on a PML-Q ticket, lost by 59,190 votes.
This time around, the main contenders for the seat are Khurshid Shah, MQM’s Zaheer Ahmed and PML-F’s Inayatullah. A total of 20 candidates are running in the contest to represent NA-199 in Parliament.
NA-204 (Larkana; Old Larkana-I)
NA-204 lies in Larkana and is among the most politically important districts in Pakistan — two prime ministers and one chief minister have come from the region.
The seat was won by PPP’s Anwar Bhutto in 2002 with PML-Q’s Syed Pir Shah as runner-up. In 2008, PPP recorded another massive victory in the constituency as per expectation when Shahid Bhutto beat Ghanwa Bhutto of PPP’s Shaheed Bhutto group by 69, 168 votes. The election saw PML-Q’s Ghulam Sarwar Siyal securing the third highest number of votes from the seat.
In 2013, 25 candidates are running for NA-204, some of them being PPP’s Ayaz Soomro, PML-F’s Mehtab Akbar Rashdi and MQM’s Sohail Ahmed Abbasi.
NA-207 (Larkana-cum-Shikarpur-cum-Kamber Shahdadkot; Old Larkana-IV)
The seat was won in 2002 by PPP’s Shahid Bhutto with Khalid Mehmood Soomro of MMA as runner-up. In 2008, Benazir Bhutto was to contest from the seat but the election for NA-207 was postponed following her assassination. As a result, a by-election was to be held on the seat in June 2008. However, Faryal Talpur, a sister-in-law of Benazir, returned uncontested.
In 2013, the seat will see a contest among 37 candidates with Faryal Talpur appearing the strongest in the race.
NA-218 (Matiari-cum-Hyderabad; Old Hyderabad-I)
In 2002, PPP’s Makhdoom Amin Faheem beat Rasool Bakhsh Memon of MQM by a massive margin of 98,444 votes. In 2008, Faheem defended his seat successfully, securing almost 77 per cent of the vote with Shah Nawaz Qureshi of PML-N as runner-up.
The seat’s key contenders in the May 2013 polls are Amin Faheem, PML-F’s Abdul Razzaque and MQM’s Ghulam Shabbir Shah.
NA-229 is one of the two seats for Sindh’s Tharparkar district which is said to be a stronghold of the Arbabs. In 2002, the seat was won by Arbab Ghulan Rahim from a ticket of the National Alliance. In that election, PPP’s Ghulam Mohammad Lot was the runner-up. The seat was however vacated by Arbab Ghulam in order to retain a place in the Sindh Assembly. A by-election was scheduled to be held for NA-229 as a result. However, Arbab Zakaullah, a nephew of Arbab Ghulam, returned uncontested.
In 2008, NA-229 was retained by Arbab Zakaullah who fought on a PML-Q ticket. PPP’s Mahesh Kumar Malhani was the runner-up in that election.
The 2013 race will feature 14 candidates, two of them being PPP’s Faqir Sher Mohammad Bilalani and MQM’s Mangharam.
NA-246 falls in Pakistan’s largest city and commercial hub, Karachi. It is among the 20 National Assembly seats that span through the district mostly comprising the country’s Urdu-speaking community along with a sizeable population of Pashtuns.
The constituency of NA-246 is traditionally an MQM stronghold and the party’s headquarters also lies within its boundaries.
In 2002, MQM’s Haji Azizullah Brohi won the seat with MMA’s Rashid Naseem as runner-up. The seat however fell vacant in the event of Brohi’s resignation following which a by-election was held. MQM’s Nisar Ahmed Penhwar won in the by-polls with Rashid Naseem again coming second.
In 2008, MQM once again swept the election on the seat with Sufyan Yousaf getting 60 per cent of the votes while Sohail Ansari of PPP managed to secure only 6, 741 votes.
This year, the seat will see a contest among nine candidates with MQM’s Nabeel Gabol and PPP’s Shahzad Majeed as key contenders.
Considered to be a sure win for PPP with voters mostly belonging to different ethnicities such as Baloch, Memon and Sindhi, NA-248 compasses Karachi’s Lyari Town. Although the constituency has been a traditional PPP stronghold, its existing political dynamics cast doubts on how its inhabitants will use their votes. The situation assumed complications in 2013 when Nabeel Gabol, a former PPP stalwart, switched over to MQM.
Gabol has in many ways been among the pointmen for the constituency and secured NA-248 in 2002 and 2008. He defeated MMA’s Qari Naseeruddin Swati in 2002 and won 80 per cent of the votes in 2008, with independent candidate Shakoor Shad as runner-up with 9,651 votes.
In 2013, the seat will see a contest among 13 candidates with Nabeel Gabol and PPP's Shahjahan Baloch as key contenders.
NA-249 is another constituency where MQM is an important stakeholder. The seat comprises of parts of Karachi’s Kharadar, Mithadar, Lyari and other areas of the city. In 2002, MQM’s Dr Amir Liaquat Hussain won the seat with MMA’s Abdul Majeed Noorani as runner-up. In 2008, MQM fielded its deputy convener Dr Farooq Sattar who won from the constituency with 103,846 votes as opposed to 73,324 of his main opponent PPP’s Abdul Habib Memon.
In this year’s election, the seat will feature Farooq Sattar, PPP’s Abdul Aziz Memon and PML-F’s Shabbir Ahmed Qaimkhani as key contenders.
In 2002, MMA’s Molvi Noor Mohammad won from the seat with 22,111 votes. PkMAP’s Mehmood Khan Achakzai was the runner-up. Later in 2008, Syed Nasir Ali Shah of PPP emerged as the winner out of total 18 candidates, securing 24,936 votes with PML-Q’s Anwarul Haq coming in second.
In 2013, the race for the seat will feature a contest with Mehmood Khan Achakzai, JUI-F’s Hafiz Hamdullah, lawyer Ali Ahmed Kurd, PPP’s Mir Maqbool Lehri, Hazara Democratic Party’s Abdul Khaliq Hazara, PTI’s Muhammad Qasim Khan Suri, BNP-M’s Akhtar Muhammad Langov and Jamhoori Watan Party – Talal’s Nawabzada Talal Bugti as key contenders.
NA-265 (Sibi-cum-Kohlu-cum-Dera Bugti-cum-Herani; old Sibi-Kohlu-Dera Bugti)
NA-265 is spread over the districts of Sibi, Kohlu and Dera Bugti and no non-Bugti has ever won from this seat.
In 2002, Haider Bugti of JWP defeated Mehrab Khan Baloch of Balochistan National Movement by 79,112 votes. Moreover, in 2008, Mir Ahmadan Khan Bugti, contesting on a PML-Q ticket, defeated independent candidate Mir Dostain Khan Domki, garnering almost 57 per cent of the votes.
This time around, key contenders for the seat are JWP's Talal Akbar Bugti, PPP's Ahmed Jan and PML-Q’s Ahmadan Bugti.
NA-272 spans across Balochistan’s districts of Kech and Gwadar. Former education minister Zubeida Jalal won from the seat in 2002 as an independent candidate and contrary to expectations finished as runner-up in 2008, losing to Yaqoob Bizenjo of BNP – Awami.
In 2013, the seat will see a contest among 11 candidates with National Party's Yaseen Baloch and Zubeida Jalal (now PML-N) as key contenders.
— Research and text by Tabinda Najam Siddiqi