KARACHI: Thirty-three candidates were left in the field to run for the 12 Senate seats from Sindh after withdrawal of 10 aspirants on Monday, the last day for the exercise. The election for the upper house of parliament is scheduled to be held on March 3.

Eight covering candidates of the Pakistan Peoples Party and one candidate of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan and an independent candidate submitted their withdrawal applications to the Election Commission of Pakistan, which were accepted. A letter was submitted by MQM’s Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui group (KM) in the last closing hour to the PEC about withdrawal of five candidates and for withdrawing party tickets from nine candidates. However, this letter was not taken into consideration by the ECP Sindh officials and it was forwarded to headquarters in Islamabad for a decision.

Earlier on Sunday, MQM-P (KM) candidate Dr Farogh Naseem, who had submitted two nomination papers — one on technocrat seat and one against general seat — withdrew his candidature for the technocrat seat and was left in the field for one of the seven general seats from Sindh.

Rival group tries to remove from list names of Sattar-proposed candidates

The MQM-P (KM) in its letter to the returning officer had stated that the party tickets of the following nominees were withdrawn: Kamran Tessori, Kishwar Zehra, Farhan Chishti, Ahmed Chinoy, retired Justice Hassan Feroz, Ali Raza Abidi, Mangla Sharma, Nighat Shakeel and Aminul Haq. Those five declared as its official candidates are: Farogh Nasim, Aamir Chishti for general seats, Nasreen Jalil for women’s seats, Abdul Qadir Khanzada for technocrats’ seats and Sanjay Perwani for a non-Muslims’ seat.

However, there were no letter from the MQM’ Farooq Sattar (FS) side, neither about any of its aspirants’ withdrawal nor about officially owning anyone. Dr Farooq Sattar had said that any list issued by the group led by Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui would be accepted by him as he was not interested in the candidature of any one aspirant but favoured unity in the ranks of the party to win the Senate seats.

Pakistan Peoples Party, which appeared to be in a comfortable position to sweep the Senate polls from Sindh, had put up the following candidates: Mian Raza Rabbani, Maula Bux Chandio, Murtaza Wahab, Muhammad Ali Shah Jamote, Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, Imamuddin Shaukeen and Ayaz Mahar against general seats, Dr Sikander Ali Mandhro and Rukhsana Zuberi against technocrat seats, Quratulain Marri and Krishna Kohli against women’s seats and Anwar Lal Deen for a non-Muslim seat.

Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah is the only candidate from the PML-F who is in the field against one of the seven general seats from Sindh in the Senate.

On Monday after withdrawal 18 candidates were left against seven general seats, six against two technocrat seats, six against two women’s seats and three against the lone seat of non-Muslims.

The candidates who had withdrawn from the contests were: general seats: Javed Ahmed Nayab Laghari, Dost Ali Jesser, Muhammad Qasim of the PPP; Muhammad Asif (independent). Technocrat seats: Dr Yunis Hyder and Taj Haider of the PPP and Muhammad Farogh Naseem of the MQM. Women seats: Humera Alwani and Nida Khuhro of the PPP, and for non-Muslim seat Anthony Naveed.

The candidates left in the field are: Mian Raza Rabbani, Maula Bux Chandio, Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, Syed Muhammad Ali Shah Jamote, Ayaz Ahmed Mahar, Murtaza Wahab and Imamuddin Shaukeen of the PPP, Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah of the PML-F, Sarfraz Jatoi of the PML-N, Muhammad Kamran Khan Tessori, Ahmad Chinoy and Farhan Chishti of the MQM (FS); Syed Aminul Haq, Muhammad Farogh Naseem of the MQM (MS), Dr Sagheer Ahmed, Mubashir Imam and Anees Ahmad Advocate of the Pakistan Sarzameen Party.

Against the two women seats, six candidates left in the field were: Quratulain Marri, Krishna Kohli of the PPP; Nasreen Jalil, Kishwer Zehra of the MQM-P (KM); Mangla Sharma and Nikhat Shakeel Khan of the MQM-P (FS).

The six candidates left against the two technocrat seats were: Dr Sikandar Ali Mandhro, Rukhsana Zuberi of the PPP; Dr Abdul Qadir Khanzada of the MQM-P (KM), Syed Ali Raza Abidi and retired Justice Hasan Feroz of the MQM-P (FS) and Muhammad Najeeb Haroon of the PTI.

On the lone seat of non-Muslims, three candidates left in the field were: Anwar Lal Deen of the PPP, Sanjay Perwani of the MQM-P (KM) and Mohan Manjiani.

Sindh Information Minister Nasir Hussain Shah, who came with the withdrawing candidates, including Taj Haider and other party leaders, told the media that everyone in the party fully abided by decisions of the PPP leadership. He said that everyone had complete trust in the party leadership so they willingly accepted its decisions.

He said there were bright chances that all 12 candidates of the party would return in the upcoming Senate polls in Sindh. He said the PPP would become the beneficiary of the process of disintegration in the ranks of the MQM-P.

Published in Dawn, February 20th, 2018


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