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Heavyweights knocked out

February 19, 2008

ISLAMABAD, Feb 18: Monday’s vote saw collapse of several heavyweights of former ruling PML-Q, including party president Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and a number of former ministers in their hometowns, according to unofficial results declared till late in the night.

Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain was defeated in Gujrat by his traditional rival, Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). Both of them had been facing each other in previous elections — Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain winning the seat three times and Chaudhry Mukhtar, a former commerce minister, winning in 1993.

Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, former minister and former spokesman for President Pervez Musharraf, could not continue his winning spree and lost both seats in Rawalpindi (NA-55 and NA-56) to PML-N’s Makhdoom Javed Hashmi and MMA turncoat Mohammad Hanif Abbasi.

According to unconfirmed results, Mr Hashmi won three out of the four seats — Rawalpindi, Lahore and Multan. He lost in home constituency, NA-148, Multan, to Punjab PPP President Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi, but retained his previous NA-123, Lahore, seat by defeating PPP Lahore President Azizur Rehman Chan.

Among other key figures of the previous government who lost were former minister of state for finance Omar Ayub Khan, who was defeated by PML-N’s Sardar Mushtaq Hussain in NA-19, Haripur, and former minister Zubaida Jalal who had contested as an independent candidate and was defeated in her home constituency of NA-272 (Kech-Gwadar) by Yaqoob Bizenjo of the Balochistan National Party-Awami.

National Reconstruction Bureau chairman and former minister Daniyal Aziz lost to an independent, Chaudhry Tariq Anees, in NA-116 (Narowal).

The chief of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) Maulana Fazlur Rehman lost in his home district of D.I. Khan to PPP’s Faisal Karim Kundi.

National Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Amir Hussain became a victim of the anti-Musharraf wave when he lost to PPP’s Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan in NA-111 of Sialkot district.

The PML-Q’s NWFP president and former minister Amir Muqam survived the storm, winning in Shangla (NA-31). Awami National Party (ANP) President Asfandyar Wali Khan won the NA-7, Charsadda-I, seat. The other Charsadda seat (NA-8) was retained by former interior minister Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao.

MAJOR WINNERS: Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Asfandyar Wali Khan (NA-7), Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao (NA-8), Amir Muqam (NA-31), Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar (NA-105), Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan (NA-11), Makhdoom Javed Hashmi (NA-55, NA-123 and NA-149), Hanif Abbasi (NA-56), Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi (NA-148 Multan-I), Khwaja Asif (NA-110).

MAJOR LOSERS: Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain (NA-105), Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed (NA-55), Maulana Fazlur Rehman (NA-24), Chaudhry Amir Hussain (NA-111), Rao Sikandar Iqbal (NA-144), Omar Ayub Khan (NA-19), Zubaida Jalal (NA-272) and Daniyal Aziz (NA-116).