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TAXILA: The PML-N lost to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) in its stronghold in PP-3 (Attock-III) due to differences within the party over award of tickets and no proper electioneering. Former district nazim retired Maj Tahir Sadiq, who joined the PTI before general elections, beat Asif Ali Malik, the nephew of Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, by a margin of 31,261 votes.

Tahir Sadiq secured 62,337 votes and his rival got 31,076. Mr Malik contested the election from the PML-N platform.

In the 2013 general elections, Shahwaiz Khan of PML-N beat Malik Jamshaid Altaf of Maj Tahir Sadiq group.

In that election, Mohammad Akbar Khan of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf stood third by securing 22,747 votes.

PP-3 (Attock-III) comprises Hazro and some rural areas of Hassanabdal tehsil.

The total population of this constituency is 380,539 while the number of registered voters is 224,163.

The turnout in this constituency remained 62.42pc as number of polled votes was 139,926.

Party supporters wanted the leadership to award ticket to any leader from Hassanabdal but it preferred a native of Fatehjang

In this constituency, PPP also made an impressive show by securing 25,329 votes while Tehrik-i-Labaik Pakistan secured 13,595 votes. MMA managed to get 3,628 votes.

Much before the announcement of election schedule, political observers had predicted clean sweep by PTI candidate in this constituency.

According to sources, PML-N’s defeat was written on the wall as there were differences in party over award of ticket, unenthusiastic electioneering, no proper social contacts and poor door-to-door contact.

The sources said the party supporters wanted the leadership to award ticket to any leader from Hassanabdal but it preferred a native of Fatehjang over former MPA Shahwaiz Khan and his son Shehryar Khan.

In retaliation, they literally boycotted the party electioneering campaign in protest.

Moreover, due to no positive support from local party ranks of Hassanabdal, the electioneering drive of Mr Malik remained restricted to Fatehjang and adjoining areas.

Besides, three of two elected PML-N councillors of municipal committee Hassanabdal joined PTI.

On the other hand, PTI candidate retired Maj Tahir Sadiq along with his daughter, district council chairperson Eman Tahir, and chairman municipal committee Zaheer Ahmed were actively involved in PTI’s electioneering.

Published in Dawn, July 28th, 2018