CHAKWAL: After losing twice to the Sardars of Tamman in NA-65 (Chakwal-II), PML-Q stalwart Chaudhry Pervez Elahi has managed to win over Sardar Mumtaz Khan Tamman – who has been elected MNA twice on a PML-N ticket but did not receive one for this general election.
Mr Tamman announced his support for Mr Elahi on June 29, after they met at Mr Tamman’s residence. Mr Elahi and PML-Q’s candidate in PP-24 Hafiz Ammar Yasir already have the support of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), which has not fielded any candidates in both constituencies due to an alliance with the PML-Q.
Speaking to a crowd after meeting with Mr Tamman, Mr Elahi emphasised the role people from the area had played in the armed forces.
“It was Air Marshal Nur Khan who led the Pakistan Air Force in the 1965 war, and he belonged to this very house,” he said, adding that the area was the land of soldiers and martyrs.
“You cannot imagine how much love I have for this area,” he said.
Mr Elahi managed to make inroads in this constituency during his stint as Punjab chief minister through Talagang resident Hafiz Ammir Yasir, who maintains a close relationship with the Chaudhrys of Gujrat.
The PML-N stunned workers and voters recently with the announcement that instead of MNA Sardar Mumtaz Khan Tamman, the party had given a ticket to Sardar Mohammad Faiz Tamman, his nephew. The uncle and nephew, who are from Tamman village in Talagang tehsil, are not on speaking terms.
Following the PML-N’s decision, Mr Tamman announced his support for PML-Q.
“Loyalty has no value in the PML-N. They don’t value those who stand firmly with them,” he told Dawn. “My target is now the PML-N.”
Mr Tamman began his political career with the PPP, and was elected MNA in 1993. He was brought into the PML-N in 2010 when the party was struggling to find a suitable candidate for a by-election after the sudden resignation of Sardar Faiz Tamman.
Mr Tamman won the election, defeating Sardar Mansoor Hayat Tamman – the current PTI district president – who was then running as an independent.
Mr Tamman remained with the PML-N in 2013, when he was elected MNA from this constituency. He received 114,200 votes, compared to Mr Elahi’s 99,300.
“It seems I wasted eight years in PML-N,” Mr Tamman said.
Mr Tamman’s group believes thatanother powerful political in Talagang who served as an adviser to former chief minister Shahbaz Sharif, convinced the party leadership to give the ticket to Sardar Faiz Tamman because of Mr Tamman’s poor performance as an MNA.
In 2002, Sardar Faiz Tamman was elected MNA as an independent after beating then-PML-Q’s Sardar Mansoor Hayat Tamman. He then joined the PML-Q when it came to power. During the 2002 election, he had the support of the Sardar Ghulam Abbas group.
In 2008, he received a PML-N ticket and beat Mr Elahi in a tight race with 92,200 votes to Mr Elahi’s 91,700.
In 2010, while the Supreme Court was disqualifying parliamentarians for holding fake degrees, Sardar Faiz Tamman suddenly resigned from the National Assembly. He also filed nomination papers for the by-election held in the wake of his resignation, in which he stated that his academic qualification was FA rather than BA – as he had stated in the 2002 and 2008 elections. He then withdrew from the 2010 by-election.
Sardar Faiz Tamman later switched to the PTI, but returned to the PML-N a year ago.
He told Dawn the academic qualifications issue was blown out of proportion. “As the condition of graduation was not there in 2010, I mentioned FA just for the sake of fulfilling the formality,” he said.
This time, he has said in his nomination papers that he holds an MBA.
He told Dawn he would win the elections because the people of this constituency needed an active representative.
“For the last eight years, the representative of our constituency was nothing but a nonexistent figure,” he said. “I am canvassing in my constituency and I have already completed 80pc of my electioneering.”
Published in Dawn, July 1st, 2018