HAFIZABAD

As the upcoming election approaches fast, electioneering has been further geared up by the respective candidates and their supporters. Unlike previous elections, the female supporters of different candidates have started door-to-door canvassing to win over support for their favourite candidates.

Constituency PP-105 consists of 1,98,211 including 85,500 female registered voters of Hafizabad city and rural area of this tehsil. There are still 16 candidates belonging to PML-N, PPP, MQM, PTI, JI, PML-J and independents. There are: Ifikhar Ali Anasri, Ch Khizar Hayat Mangat, Usman Khizar Mangat, Rafaqat Ali Ghazali, Hafiz Muhammad Ashraf, Dr Muzaffar Ali Sheikh, Rana Irfan Ahmad, Syed Wasimul Hassan Naqvi, Shoaib Aslam Hanjra, Ashraf Bhatti and Irfan Javed (Independents), Habib Ullah Cheema JI, Malik Fayyaz Ahmad Awan PML-N, Sajid Ali Gondal PML-J, Ali Abbas Awan PTI, Malik Shoukat Hayat Awan PPP. But the real fight would be between Malik Fayyaz Ahmad Awan (PML-N), who left his parent party (PPP) just one month before the announcement of election scheduled and Dr Muzaffar Ali Sheikh (independent candidate of Ch Mehdi group). Another independent candidate Ifikhar Ali Ansari who is banking on the votes of his biradari, Malik Shoukat Hayat Awan (PPP) who belongs to Awan tribe and Ali Abbas Awan of PTI who also belongs to Awan tribe of Garhi Awan from which Malik Fayyaz belongs, can upset the PML-N candidate. Nothing could be predicted as like most of the politicians, the electorates have also become hypocrite and they assure every candidate of their support.

During 2008 elections Malik Fayyaz Ahmad Awan (then PPP candidate) had won the poll due to the fact that Ch Afzal Hussain Tarar of PML-N and Malik Fayyaz Ahmad Awan of PPP had joined hands and supported each other but due to change of his loyalty (PPP) his position has become week.

However, neck to neck contest is expected in this constituency. However, Dr Muzaffar Ali Sheikh has an edge over all the contestants as his past record is unblemished and he had served his electorates in a better way during his tenure as MPA (2002-2007).

Constituency PP-106 consists some parts of Hafizabad & Pindi Bhattian Tehsils, Police Stations Vanike, Kaleke Mandi and Jalalpur Bhattian, where 1,71,777 including 72,657 female registered voters would cast their votes. There are seven contenders of different parties i.e. Aman Ullah Chattha JI, Ch Muhammad Asad Ullah Arain PML-N, Rai Riasat Ali Kharal of Ch Mehdi Hassan Bhatti independent group, Rai Qamaruz Zaman Kharal, who was ignored for PTI ticket, is contesting as independent candidate and Muhammad Qasim Tarar PTI and two covering candidates. All the contenders were making hectic efforts to muster supports of electorates belonging to different clans. But rift between the PML-N NA-103 candidate Mian Shahid Hussain Bhatti and Asad Ullah Arain (PP-106) has created serious dent in the vote bank of PML-N. It is ironic that election charm has even ruined the family relations of a father-in-law (Rai Riasat Ali Kharal) and son-in-law (Rai Qamaruz Zaman Kharal) who are fighting the election battle bitterly and divided the vote bank of biggest Kharal biradari in the constituency which diminished the chances of both of them. There is no candidate of PPP in this constituency. During 2008 elections Qasim Tarar (PTI candidate) had been in the Ch Afzal Hussain Tarar group and he had supported Asad Arain and Shahid Hussain Bhatti but in the upcoming elections, he has divided the Tarars votes and is fighting tooth and nail against Asad Ullah Arain. So, nothing could be said about the result in this constituency, although Asad Ullah Arain has an edge over all the candidates due to his five years services.

Constituency PP-107 comprises Pindi Bhattain town and rural area of the tehsil, with 1,71,661 including 73,791 female registered voters. There are: still 19 candidates including two females and four covering candidates. There are Syed Shoaib Shah Nawaz, Ahmad Nawaz, Bashir Ahmad, Rai Haq Nawaz, Rai Muhammad Ishaq, Abdul Hadi Khan, Imran Hassan Bhatti, Muhammad Rafique, Muhammad Munir Mehmood Ahmad, Nazim Abbas Bhatti independents, Nighat Intisar PML-N, Ansar Abbas MQM, Sobia Bhatti PTI, Rai Shahid Kharal PPP.

In this constituency to the battle would be between independent candidate Syed Shoaib Shah Nawaz and two ladies Sobia Bhatti and Nighat Bhatti. Nighat Intisar is wife of Intisar Hussain Bhatti Ex-MPA who had been disqualified and thus he fielded his wife, Nighat, who had never taken part in politics. She is conservative housewife, who has not displayed her picture even on posters or billboard. Pindi Bhattian remained stronghold of Intisar Hussain Bhatti his younger brother Ansar Ali Bhatti Ex-Tehsil Nazim Pindi Bhatti and his father Late Jahangir Ali Bhatti Ex-MPA, when Hafizabad was not upgraded to district status. Previously Intisar Bhatti of Pindi Bhatti and Ch Mehdi Hassan Bhatti had been fighting the elections jointly but for the past some years they have parted ways and Intisar group had joined PPP and later joined PML-Q and have recently flown to PML-N. During 2008 election Liaqat Abbas Bhatti had won this seat as well as NA-103 on PML-Q ticket. Later, in by-election Mian Shahid Hussain Bhatti won the election as PML-N nominee.

There will be duel between Nighat Intisar, Syed Shah Nawaz, Sobia Bhatti and Rai Shahid Kharal, although Syed Shoaib Shah Nawaz has an edge over all other candidates as his group had made unparalleled developments particularly provision of sui gas, network of roads and setting up of college.

Although PPP seems nowhere in the district and its candidates are also too weak to win, Tsunami factor is also invisible in the district, yet surprise results cannot be ruled out as number of registered voters in the district has increased from 4,02,656 to 5,43,649 in 2013, i.e. increase of 1,40,993 registered voters mostly youngsters and if they, so far, (silent youth) decide to vote for PTI candidates, there would be great upset in the expected results.

According to political pundits, during 2008 election due to assassination of Benazir Bhutto and signing of Charter of Democracy by the PPP and PML-N particularly Mian Nawaz Sharif’s sympathies with the PPP, local leaders of PPP and PML-N undertaken an unwritten agreement according to which PPP electorates would cast their votes in favour of PML-N candidates for National Assemblies and in return PML-N electorates would cast their votes in favour of PPP nominees, resultantly PML-N bagged NA-102 and PP-106 seats while PPP got PP-105 seat. But now the political scenario has been changed altogether following the joining of PPP District President Malik Fayyaz Ahmad Awan with PML-N and now he is contesting PP-105 on PML-N ticket which was resented by old and die-hard workers of the party. Ultimately, they (PPP activists) hell bent to manoeuvre defeat of Malik Fayyaz Ahmad Awan (PML-N Candidate). Though vote graph of PPP has been decreased over the years yet its voters can be helpful in the victory or defeat of any other candidate. Keeping in view this factor no federal or provincial leader of PPP bothered to address a public meeting in Hafizabad or Pindi Bhattain to boost morale of their candidates.

Previously JI and JUP voters used to vote for PML-N candidates in the absence of their candidates but this time JI and JUP / Sunni Ittehad have also fielded their own candidates which would badly affect PML-N candidates particularly in NA-102 and PP-105.