Chaudhry Nisar
Chaudhry Nisar

TAXILA: The NA-54 constituency (Rawalpindi-III) in Taxila is expected to witness a neck-and-neck contest between former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and former aviation minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan, a bout that has eclipsed the mainstream parties in the constituency.

In 2018, Chaudhry Nisar — after his falling out with the PML-N — had contested the polls as an independent and is doing the same this time too. Sarwar Khan, however, is the candidate of the newly created IPP.

The election campaign has started to rev up in the constituency; Sarwar Khan organised an IPP workers’ convention in which the party’s patron-in-chief Jahangir Tareen and Aleem Khan participated, whereas Chaudhry Nisar Ali also organised power shows in Chakri, Taxila, and Wah.

If Sarwar Khan is a ‘turncoat’ for switching his allegiances, then Nisar Ali Khan — due to his aloofness over the past three years — will also face a tough time in the election. In addition to these two heavyweights, PTI and PML-N have also announced their candidates for the NA-54 seat, but political observers believe that these parties could only put a dent in the vote bank of the veteran politicians. For NA-54, Taimoor Masood Akbar will represent the PTI while the PML-N will field Barrister Aqeel Malik for the slot.

 Ghulam Sarwar
Ghulam Sarwar

Political pundits predict that a tough fight between the two contenders will decide the political future of this constituency, as both arch-rivals have also launched their ‘second generation’ in politics. During the previous general election in 2018, the constituency was renamed NA-63 (Rawalpindi VII), and Ghulam Sarwar Khan secured 100,986 votes, beating the independent Chaudhry Nisar, who secured 65,767 votes.

At the time, Mr Sarwar, who won the election from two constituencies, opted to retain the other constituency and his son Mansoor Hayat Khan was subsequently elected on a PTI ticket by securing 71,782 votes against the PML-N candidate, who bagged 45,490. Ch Nisar did not contest by-polls. Though there are many aspirants for the seat, the likely clash between Sarwar and Nisar on Feb 8 is going to eclipse all other contests.

Published in Dawn, January 20th, 2024

Opinion

Editorial

After the deluge
Updated 16 Jun, 2024

After the deluge

There was a lack of mental fortitude in the loss against India while against US, the team lost all control and displayed a lack of cohesion and synergy.
Fugue state
16 Jun, 2024

Fugue state

WITH its founder in jail these days, it seems nearly impossible to figure out what the PTI actually wants. On one...
Sindh budget
16 Jun, 2024

Sindh budget

SINDH’S Rs3.06tr budget for the upcoming financial year is a combination of populist interventions, attempts to...
Slow start
Updated 15 Jun, 2024

Slow start

Despite high attendance, the NA managed to pass only a single money bill during this period.
Sindh lawlessness
Updated 15 Jun, 2024

Sindh lawlessness

A recently released report describes the law and order situation in Karachi as “worryingly poor”.
Punjab budget
15 Jun, 2024

Punjab budget

PUNJAB’S budget for 2024-25 provides much fodder to those who believe that the increased provincial share from the...