­SIALKOT-Both the old rivals in NA-73 PML-N’s Khawaja Asif and PTI’s Usman Dar are making high claims to give a hard time to each other in July 25, 2018 general elections.

They also contested the 2013 general elections in this constituency and PML-N’s Khawaja Muhammad Asif had defeated PTI’s candidate Usman Dar in 2013 general elections.

It has been lucky for PML-N’s Khawaja Asif. He enjoys very close association with the Sharif brothers due to which he also played a pivotal role in allotment of the party tickets to the candidates in Sialkot, Daska, Sambrial and Pasrur tehsils. He adopted positive and effective political strategies to give tough time to the PTI candidates.

It would be the biggest election contest during the 2018 general elections in Sialkot district.

The dynastic politics is also playing a key role in Sialkot city ahead of these general elections. Both Khawaja Asif and Usman Dar belong to the Kashmiri Biradari due to which the Kashmiris remain divided. The Kashmiri, Gujjar, Mughal and Arain clans are in majority here in Sialkot city. They belong to the Kashmiri but the other candidates belong to the Arain and Gujjar families in Sialkot city’s constituencies (PP 36, Sialkot-II and PP 37, Sialkot-III) thus can get the support from all the clans in Sialkot city.

PPP has also fielded Zarar Mehmood Malik as its candidate in this election race in this constituency of Sialkot city (NA 73, Sialkot-II).

Sialkot based a leading exporter Engineer Imran Ashraf is also contesting these polls as an independent candidate in constituency (73, Sialkot-II) and in (PP 36, Sialkot-II). He belongs to the Mughal Biradari and claims to have the complete support of his own Biradari and even others including Kashmiri, Gujjar and Arains.

Former MPA Imran Ashraf is stated to be a strong independent candidate here and was in the position to divide the votes of both PML-N and PTI in Sialkot city. He could give tough time to both Khawaja Asif and Usman Dar.

Total registered voters are 488393 in Sialkot city’s Constituency (NA 73, Sialkot-II). In 2013 general elections, PML-N’s Khawaja Asif had won after getting 92803 votes against his very close rival PTI’s Usman Dar who got 71525 votes.

JI’s Arshad Mehmood Baggu remained on third position by getting 6361 votes while PPP’s Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan could get only 2195 votes.

Total 10 candidates are in the election race including Khawaja Asif (PML-N), Usman Dar (PTI), Zarar Mehmood Malik (PPP), Jehangir Rasheed (Pakistan Sunni Tehreek), Ch Muhammad Sarwar (MQM-Pakistan), Rana Naeem Javaid (Tehreek Labaik Pakistan) and four independent candidates Imran Ashraf, Arif Mehmood, Muhammad Asif and Imran Dar.

The local independent political observers are of the view the candidates of both Pakistan Sunny Tehreek (PST) and Tehreek Labaik Pakistan (TLP) could get remarkable votes affecting PML-N and PTI in Sialkot city.