TAXILA: The National Assembly constituency of NA-54 in Taxila witnessed a seismic shift as veteran political figures faced embarrassment at the hands of politically novice candidates.

According to official results, Barrister Aqeel Malik of PML-N defeated heavyweights and seasoned politicians former minister for interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and ex-aviation minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan by grabbing 85,912 votes. Chaudhry Nisar could secure 19,093 and his arch rival Sarwar Khan 16,889 votes despite the fact that the latter had jumped on to the bandwagon of Istehkam-i-Pakistan Party IPP.

Chaudhry Nisar, an estranged PML-N leader, contested election as an independent candidate on the symbol of aero-plane. He lost both the seats in Rawalpindi district for the second consecutive term.

In PP-12, PML-N’s first-time contender Mohsin Ayub Khan beat former MPA Ammar Sadeeq Khan, nephew of Sarwar Khan who contested on the ticket of IPP. Mohsin secured 41,338 votes while Ammar could get 12,401 votes.

In PP-13 Wah Cantonment, Fahad Masood, brother of former provincial minister of PTI Malik Taimoor Masood, also a newcomer to political arena, beat seasoned politician and former MPA Umer Farooq. Masood, an independent candidate backed by PTI, scored 56,723 votes against the PML-N candidate who bagged 24,087 votes.

Azra Masood, mother of former PTI provincial minister Taimoor Masood, who contested as an independent for NA-54 and was supported by the PTI, lost with a slim margin.

A housewife and aged 60, she secured 73,694 votes. Complaining of rigging, she waited outside the office of the returning officer for over eight hours to get the results. She said her results and that of PTI-backed candidate Saad Ali Khan from PP-12 were delayed by RO and later the results were changed. Hundreds of her supporters, including PTI activists, gathered outside the office of the RO after Friday prayers and staged a protest.

Saad Ali Khan also held a press conference and alleged foul play in the preparation of results. He said form-45 received by him and issued by concerned RO showed different results. He also announced to take the matter to court.

Attock

PML-N candidates won both the National Assembly seats while independent candidates backed by the PTI dominated in the provincial assembly seats.

According to the results, in NA-49 Attock-I, PML-N candidate and former federal minister Sheikh Aftab Ahmed was elected with 119,727 votes while PTI leader and former MNA Major Tahir Sadiq could score 110,230 votes.

In NA-50 Attock-II, PML-N’s Malik Sohail Khan was declared winner after securing 119,075 votes against Eman Waseem, daughter of Major Sadiq who contested as independent candidate, who got 109,189 votes. TLP chief Hafiz Saad who was contesting secured 91,709 votes.

A mixed trend was witnessed in provincial assembly seats of the Attock as political heavyweights suffered defeat. Although PTI failed to retain its domination, candidate backed by it made a surprising win in Hazro against the PML-N.

In PP-1 Hazro, Attock-I, Qazi Ahmed Akbar, PTI district president contesting as an independent candidate beat former provincial minister for sports Jehangir Khanzada. Mr Akbar secured 49,257 votes while Khanzada secured 36,443 votes.

Mr Akbar had remained underground since the May 9 incidents and did not run his election campaign.

In the provincial assembly constituency of Hassanabdal, PP-2, Attock-II, PTI leader Sardar Mohammad Ali contesting as an independent candidate returned with 36,093 votes while PML-N candidate Iftikhar Ahmed Khan secured 35,891 votes and was declared as the runner-up.

In the provincial assembly constituency of Attock city PP-3, Attock-III, Syed Ijaz Boukhari, backed by PTI as an independent candidate, secured 36,897 votes while PML-N candidate Hameed Akbar secured 31,857 votes. Ijaz Boukhari is a close relative of PTI leader Zulfi Boukhari and former provincial minister Syed Yawar Boukhari.

In Pindigheb PP-4, Attock-IV, PML-N candidate and former provincial minister Sher Ali Khan defeated TLP’s Malik Amanat Khan by bagging 48,593 votes against 43,365 votes.

In Jand, PP-5, Attock-V, Malik Itibar Khan of PML-N won by securing 46,665 votes while PTI candidate and former MPA got 43,620 votes.

Published in Dawn, February 10th, 2024

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