SIALKOT/AHMEDPUR EAST

The victorious independent candidates of 54 rural union councils have a key role in the election of the chairman of Sialkot District Council while they are expected to join hands with the PTI.

The independent candidates clinched second position after winning 54 chairman seats out of 124 seats of Zila Council. However, the ruling PML-N topped by winning 61 seats. PTI could get nine seats.

Now, the independent candidates are in very strong position as their political alliance with PTI is also expected ahead of the election of the Chairman Zila Council.

They could change the game and give very tough time to the PML-N. Majority of the winners comprises those denied the party tickets by the local leaderships of PML-N and PTI while they contested as independent candidates against parties' candidates.

As per the prevailing political scenario, it would be very difficult for the PML-N to win the slot of Chairman of Zila Council Sialkot. According to political observers, the PML-N would be in "hot waters" in the election of the chairman of Zila Council Sialkot if the independent winners and PTI unite. In Sialkot city, the PML-N has got majority to win the election for the slot of mayor of Municipal Corporation. It has won 19 seats of chairman of union councils against PTI's three seats and one independent.

Meanwhile, the PML-N's Hassan Askari Sheikh group, which had emerged as the most popular in NA-183 Ahmedpur East, has decided to field Rajarhu and Yasar Saleem Sheikh for the slot of chairman of District Council Bahawalpur.

MNA Ali Hassan Gillani group grabbed only one union council of Khurrampur in NA-183 while PML-N ex-provincial ticket holder Hassan Askari Sheikh's three nominees Mehar Siddique, Yasar Salim and Malik Rashad were elected as chairmen of union councils of Chanigoth, Raharhu and Mahand respectively.

Yasar Saleem's two uncles late Shujaullah Sheikh and Major (retired) Samiullah Sheikh had been elected as MNA an MPA respectively in former Premier Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Shaheed Ex-Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto regimes. His cousin Arif Aziz Sheikh was also chosen as MNA General Elections 2008 on PPP ticket from NA-183 Ahmedpur East.

Meanwhile, he has started lobbying to get the support of independent chairmen of union councils for his cousin Yasar Saleem Sheikh as majority of the candidates who had been elected as chairmen are independents.

The PTI got three union council chairmanships and Gillani group headed by Makhdoom Syed Iftikhar Hassan Gillani got four union council chairmanships in NA-183 while the other elected chairmen are independents.

FIA nabs human traffickers

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) arrested two human traffickers from Jalalpur Jattan, Gujrat and seized fake documents, stamps and other documents.

According to the deputy director of FIA Gujranwala region, Safeer Hussain and Khalid Hussain had been running black business of sending people abroad especially to European and Middle East and Gulf states after extorting big amounts.

The FIA also seized a big number of passports, fake visas of different countries, fake stamps and other official documents of different embassies, embossing machines, fake student visas and medical certificates. He added that the FIA has sent the accused behind bars.

SIAL ELECTION: Malik Muhammad Ashraf was elected unopposed as chairman of Sialkot International Airport Limited (SIAL) during its annual elections.

Another exporter Naeem Yousaf was also elected unopposed as vice chairman of SIAL. Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) President Mansur Ahmed and SVP Sarfraz Butt have greeted the newly office-bearers of SIAL.

The chairman pledged to make an all-out effort to make the Sialkot International Airport a model in Asia. He said that it had been a hallmark of the sincerity, dedication, enthusiasm and unity of the Sialkot exporters, who had established it on self-help basis.

He said that the airport had great potential of doubling the Sialkot exports from persisting US$ 2 billion annually besides opening the new vistas of socio-economic development in Pakistan's first ever "Golden Export Triangle" comprising Sialkot , Gujrat and Gujranwala districts.