RAWALPINDI: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan changed the constituency he will be contesting elections from and on Thursday got nominations forms for cantonment areas constituency NA-61 through local party leaders, now standing against PML-N’s Malik Abrar.
Imran Khan contested the 2013 general elections from NA-56 and defeated PML-N’s Hanif Abbasi. For the 2018 elections, however, the PTI will support Awami Muslim League (AML) President Sheikh Rashid Ahmed in NA-60, previously NA-56, and NA-62 which was previously NA-55.
The AML president will now face Hanif Abbasi in NA-60 and Mr Ahmed claims that a senior PML-N leader from Lahore will be contesting the elections against him in NA-61.
A senior PTI leader told Dawn that the constituency from which Imran Khan will be contesting was changed on the request of Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, who wanted to contest on two seats and wanted Mr Khan to contest from the Cantt areas.
However, he said, the party’s position in the Cantt areas was not good in the 2015 local government elections due to internal lifts and that the PML-N had won all the seats.
He said the internal rifts will end if the party chairman will contest from the Cantt areas but the city chapter will probably experience more internal rifts as most local leaders wanted to contest the elections to the National Assembly.
Consisting from Cantt areas from Golra Mor to Soan Camp, PML-N’s Malik Abrar had won from NA-61, previously NA-54, and his brother won the provincial assembly seat.
There is no PPP contestant in the area as Zamarud Khan, who used to win the seat in previous years, did not express interest in election politics and after him, the party had a shortage of candidates.
Published in Dawn, June 8th, 2018