• Issues election line-up for 234 NA seats amid ‘bat’ symbol dilemma
• List of candidates includes at least 20 women and 20 lawyers; all except Qureshi to contest from one constituency
• PTI may ally with influential parties in specific regions, seek support from independents

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), facing uncertainty over the retention of its ‘bat’ symbol, issued a list of its candidates for 234 of the total 266 National Assembly seats on Friday for the upco­ming general elections.

The list, which includes 20 women and 20 advocates, was released by the party’s central secretariat.

While the line-up features several prominent PTI leaders and former legislators, it also introduces new faces, including notable lawyers like Sardar Latif Khosa and Salman Akram Raja.

PTI Information Secre­tary Rauf Hassan told Dawn the list could be modified following the Supreme Court’s verdict on the allotment of the ‘bat’ symbol.

However, a party spokesman told Dawn it had already made adjustments with the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC-Sherani) and Majlis Wahdat-i-Muslimeen Pakistan (MWM), and their candidates had also been adjusted in the list of PTI candidates.

The decision on 32 constituencies remains pending, with expectations of an updated list soon to include candidates for these areas.

Mr Hassan elaborated on PTI’s plans, which include adjustments with influential parties in specific regions and seek support from independent candidates. “We can go for both plans, allies and independent candidates,” he said.

According to the PTI’s list of candidates, no one will contest elections from more than one seat except PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

The party has also made some changes to its previous list of candidates, as those who are not contesting from their previous constituencies have been replaced by their family members. For instance, Mian Azhar, a former Punjab governor, has been awarded a party ticket in place of his son, Hammad Azhar.

The PTI has given tickets to 20 women, including Kanwal Shauzab (from Bahawalpur-III), Shandana Gulzar (Peshawar-III), Eman Tahir (Attock-III), Seemabia Tahir (Rawalpindi-VI), Rehana Imtiaz Dar (Sialkot-II), Aliya Hamza (Lahore-II), Dr Yasmeen Rashid (Lahore-XIV), Sidra Faisal (Kasur-IV), and Ayesha Nazir Jutt (Vehari-I).

Other women candidates are Qamar Javed Warraich (Rahim Yar Khan-IV), Humaira Ahmed Khan (Muzaffargarh-II), Amber Majeed Niazi (Layyah-I), Zartaj Gul Wazir (D.G. Khan-II), Naheed Khawar (Kamber Shahdadkot-II), Ambareen Malik (Khairpur-I), Hameeda Shah (Sanghar-I), Meharun Nisa Baloch (Tharparkar-II), Nazish Bhatti (Matiari), Rozina Bhutto (Tando Allahyar) and Shabana Nawab (Dadu-I).

Other old and new prominent faces in the list of candidates are Omar Ayub Khan (Haripur), Murad Saeed/Kamal Khan Advocate (Swat-III) Saleemur Rehman (Swat-II), Sibghatullah (Upper Dir), Mehboob Shah (Lower Dir-I), Junaid Akbar (Malakand), Asad Qaisar (Swabi-I), Shahram Tarakai (Swabi-II), Ali Muhammad Khan (Mardan-III), Sajid Khan (Mohmand), Arbab Sher Ali (Peshawar IV), Shehriyar Afridi (Kohat) and Ali Amin Gandapur (D.I. Khan-I).

Others included Aamir Masood Mughal (Islamabad-I), Tahir Sadiq (Attock-I), Raja Basharat (Rawalpindi-IV), Shahriyar Riaz (Rawalpindi-V), Ayaz Amir (Chakwal), Ali Sajid Malhi (Sialkot-IV), retired Col Javed Kholoon (Narowal-II), Riaz Fatiyana (Toba Tek Singh-III), Sahibzada Mehboob Sultan (Jhang-I), Sheikh Waqar Akram, (Jhang-II), retired Brig Ejaz Shah (Nankana Sahib-I), Mian Azhar (Lahore-XIII), Malik Amir Dogar (Multan-II), Zain Qureshi (Multan-III), Shah Mahmood Qureshi/Mehr Bano Qureshi (Multan-IV), Mr Qureshi (Tharparkar-I), Shaukat Basra/Talat Mehmood Basra (Bahawalnagar-IV), and Samiullah Chaudhry (Bahawalpur-V).

Some other PTI candidates for the National Assembly seats will be Jamshaid Dasti (Muzaffargarh-I), Khawaja Sheraz Mehmood (Taunsa), Saifullah Abro (Larkana-I), Lalchand Malhi (Umerkot), Aleem Adil Sheikh (Karachi Korangi-I), Faheem Khan (Karachi-Korangi-III), Muhammad Alamgir Khan (Karachi-East-II), Aleem Adil Sheikh (Karachi-East-IV) and Khurram Sher Zaman (Karachi-South-III).

Prominent lawyers in the list of PTI election candidates are Barrister Gohar Ali Khan (from Buner), Latif Khosa (Lahore-VI), Salman Akram Raja (Lahore-XII), Shoaib Shaheen (Islamabad-II) Sher Afzal Marwat (Lakki Marwat), Ali Bukhari (Islamabad-III), Advocate Haris Meo (Karachi Korangi-II), Shafqat Awan Advocate (Sargodha-III), Khudadad Kalyar Advocate (Sargodha-IV), Akram Niazi Advocate (Khushab-II), Afzal Azeem Pahat (Lahore-VII), Zameen Jedho Advocate (Lahore-VIII), Barrister Taimur Malik (Multan-I), Mumtaz Mustafa Advocate (Rahim Yar Khan-III), Barrister Nabeel Dharr (Rahim Yar Khan V), Advocate Aftab Soomro (Shikarpur), Advocate Zahoor Mehsud (Karachi-East-III), Advocate Shujaat Ali Khan (Karachi-Keamari-II), and Barrister Uzair Ghauri (Karachi-Central-III).

Of the 45 National Assembly seats in the province, 23 tickets were awarded to those party leaders who had either won in previous 2018 general elections or were runners-up.

Mohammad Ashfaq from Peshawar also contributed to the report

Published in Dawn, January 13th, 2024

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