ISLAMABAD - While the tricky game of politics has always transformed foes into friends and allies into opponents, it has also been instrumental in dividing families as kith and kin become overnight rivals aiming to defeat the otherwise loved ones.

The Southern Punjab is full of such cases as the polling day draws near. Brothers, uncles, nephews, nieces and other close relatives will be eye-to-eye on the election day representing various parties, or contesting as independents, to bring the climax of political confrontation.

Interestingly, most of these candidates in Southern Punjab are representing famous castes including Leghari, Khar, Gormani, Jatoi, Waranr, Qaisrani and others, whose family members in some context have been in national and provincial assemblies. While May 2013 elections are interesting from different perspectives, as not only the fashion of changing political loyalties has touched new high but also for the first time a large number of close relatives are contesting against each other.

Among others in these interesting contests in Southern Punjab from PP-244 (D.G. Khan) renowned figure Zaulfiqar Khosa from PML-N is facing his son Saif ud Din Khosa who has recently joined PPP, changing his loyalties from PML-N. Saif Khosa is contesting from both provincial and national assembly seats.

The famous Leghari tribe of Baloch caste in these polls has also broken previous records as former MPA Maqsud Leghari from NA-172 is contesting against his nephew Jamal Leghari as an independent candidate, who has recently left PTI.

In another unusual situation, from PP-246, four cousins of Leghari tribe from different party affiliations are on the race to win this seat. Muhammad Khan Leghari (the son of Maqsud Leghari) from PML-Q, Zeshan Leghari with the emblem of PML-N, and Shabir Leghari from PPP are cousins contesting against each other.

In Muzaffargarh, two sons of PPP leader Nawabzada Nasrullah (late), Nawabzada Iftikhar Ahmed Khan (NA-178) and Nawabzada Mansoor Ahmed Khan (PP-257), are also contesting with different affiliations.

In the same town, from NA-177 PPP candidate Noor Rababi Khar (father of former minister for foreign affairs Hina Rabani Khar) is contesting against his nephew Rafique Khar (former MPA) (an independent candidate).

Tariq Gormani, a former MPA from Muzaffargarh, is also all set to lock horns with his two nephews Zeshan Gormani (independent candidate) and Saif ud Din Gormani (from Jamaat-e-Islami ticket) who are cousins.

In the city of Rahim Yar Khan, Makhdoom Shahab ud Din is contesting on National Assembly (NA) seat against his nephew Khusro Bukhtar (an independent candidate).

PPP's former famous candidate Jamshaid Dasti, who is contesting as an independent candidate, but his cousin Abdul Hai Dasti is affiliated with PML-N from PP-259.

The town of 'Vehoa' union council of Dera Ghazi Khan, where Mir Badsha Qaisrani (from JUI-F) is facing his cousin Barrister Imam Bux Qaisrani (a PML-N candidate).

In Ahmad Pur Sharqiya area of Souther Punjab, two step-brothers Sami Gilani and Suleman Gilani are also facing each other.

The Bhawalpur city in this context is much interesting as Khadija Waranr, the wife of Amir Waranr as a candidate of Pakistan People's Party (PPP), is contesting against his brother Jhanzeb Waranr.

The city of Vehari, Ayesha Nazir Jatt, the daughter of former MNA Nazir Ahmad Jatt, is contesting election against his cousin Asghar Jatt.

While, from Jatoi tribe, PPP candidate Moazam Ali Jatoi, a former minister, is contesting from NA-179 while his cousin Khan Muhammad Jatoi is contesting from provincial assembly seat (PP-259).

It is relevant to mention here that while May 11 elections are only three days away no candidate has withdrawn against his relative.