MUZAFFARGARH: Former governor Malik Ghulam Mustafa Khar has withdrawn in favour of PML-N candidate for NA-180 Malik Abdul Khaliq Khar (his nephew).

Khar was earlier a candidate for the NA seat, and his nomination papers had been approved. However, on Saturday, he withdrew in favour of PML-N’s Malik Abdul Khaliq Khar.

Now, Khaliq Khar is the main contender against Malik Ghulam Raza Rabbani Khar, who is a PPP candidate for NA-180. Both candidates are stepbrothers, sons of the late ex-MNA Malik Ghulam Noor Rabbani Khar.

Khaliq Khar, a retired captain, is contesting the election for the second time. He was previously defeated as an independent candidate but is now representing the PML-N.

On the other hand, PPP candidate Malik Ghulam Raza Rabbani is participating in his second election. He won for the first time in 2018, becoming an MNA on the PPP platform. His sister, Hina Rabbani Khar, is also involved in his campaign.

Ghulam Mustafa Khar announced his support for Khaliq Khar on Saturday, initiating a campaign in his favour. In the Mahmood Kot area and Sanawan city, notable figures including ex-MPA Malik Mohammed Bilal Khar have also withdrawn in favour of Khaliq Khar.

Bilal Khar, who previously belonged to the PPP but has now joined the PML-N, stated the PML-N leadership had awarded the ticket to Khaliq Khar. He claimed the PML-N candidate would secure victory in the constituency.

Meanwhile, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has urged party workers and voters to support PML-N candidates in Kot Addu, where there is no JUI-F nominee.

Khaliq Khar, who was initially seen as a weak candidate in NA-180, now stands as a strong opponent to PPP candidate Raza Rabbani Khar. On the other side, PTI candidate Mian Fayyaz Chajra has said that voters will deliver a surprise on the polling day.

Published in Dawn, January 28th, 2024

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