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TAXILA: Old guards as well as new faces have filed nomination papers for NA-63 (Rawalpindi VII), comprising Taxila and Wah, and PP-3 Hassanabdal by-election.

The National Assembly seat fell vacant after Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader and federal minister for petroleum Ghulam Sarwar Khan opted to retain NA-59. The provincial assembly seat was vacated by PTI leader Tahir Sadiq who retained his NA seat.

Nine candidates from NA-63 have filed their nomination papers with Returning Officer (RO) Nadeem Ahmed.

Among the candidates is a son of Ghulam Sarwar. His uncle and former MPA Shafeeq Khan filed papers as the covering candidate.

Another candidate is former MPA Umer Farooq, who was the runner-up from PP-19 Taxila in the July 25 election as an independent candidate from the panel of former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan. PML-N district president Sardar Mumtaz Khan, who was a candidate in the July 25 election, also filed his nomination papers.

The MMA has fielded Khawaja Waqar advocate by dropping former MPA Prof Mohammad Waqas Khan.

The TLP also filed its candidate Qurban Ali. On the other hand, the PPP has once again fielded an old guard, Syed Ishrat Zaidi.

Faisal Iqbal, who contested the polls as an independent candidate for a provincial assembly seat from the panel of Chaudhry Nisar, also filed nomination papers for the NA seat.

Interestingly, Chaudhry Nisar, who did not take oath as an MPA from PP-12 and was expected to make a comeback from the NA-63, has not filed nomination papers for the seat. According to sources, he opted not to contest the by-polls and has directed his group members to decide their political course of action on their own.

Meanwhile, 17 candidates have filed nominations for PP-3 Hassanabdal, (Attock-III). Most of the candidates are new faces and did not contest the July 25 election.

They are Zain Ellahi, son of Tahir Sadiq, Waseem Gulzar, son-in-law of Tahir Sadiq, Sardar Sikendar Jang Khan, Abdullah Khan, Mumtaz Hussain, Sardar Haseeb Ahmed, Shafqat Ali Khan, Sardar Faran Afzal Khan, Ayaz Khan, Sardar Mohammad Ali Khan, Mushtaq Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed Khan, Malik Riasat Ali, Mohammad Riaz Khan, Akbar Khan Tanoli, Shahid Mehmood and Waqar Ali.

Published in Dawn, September 1st, 2018