DERA GHAZI KHAN - Like a large number of other candidates in Dera Ghazi Khan district, Khawja Sheraz Mehmood, a two-time MNA slot winner, is yet to decide his political affiliation though the general elections are around the corner.

He is the son of former PPP MNA Khawja Kamaluddin Anwar (late). He won the elections in 2002 and 2008. He was made the state minister for production after coalition of the PPP and PML.Q.

This time, his position in the constituency is different as the chiefs of Qaisrani and Buzdar tribes which were supporter of him in the last elections, are his opponents for the upcoming general elections. Then Sardar Fateh Muhammad Khan Buzdar and Sardar Mir Badeshah Qaisrani were his wings in PP-241 and PP-240 consituencies respectively.

During the general elections 2008, the Qaisrani chief quit the group and joined the PML-N strongly opposing Sheraz. With the passage of time, the latter also lost the support of Buzdar tribe chief who is likely to join the PML-N following his close affiliation with Sardar Zulfiqar Ali Khan Khosa. And Qaisrani chief announced to contest an election from NA-171 from the PPP platform against Sheraz along with his wife who is candidate from PP 240. However, Mir Qaisrani’s nomination papers have been rejected by the returning officer concerned on the pretext of fake degree issued by Jamshoro University Sindh.

Sheraz is also facing another strong candidate, Sardar Mohammad Amjad Farooq Khan Khosa, who is likely to get a ticket from PML.N despite the strong opposition by his cousin Sardar Zulfiqar Ali Khan Khosa who was elected as MNA in 1990 and 1997 after defeating Khawja Kamaluddin Anwar (late).  Now, Sheraz wants to join the PPP with the condition that PPP leadership to force Mir Qaisrani for his support as the latter’s papers have been rejected but the issue is yet to be decided.

However some of the sources are of the view that he can also contest the election independently. During the general election 2002, he secured 82,310 votes while his rival Sardar Amjad Farooq could get 49,302 and in the general election 2008, he secured 39,628 while Amjad obtained 36,400 votes.