MULTAN - As many as 404 candidates for six national and 13 provincial constituencies of Multan district have submitted nomination papers and the scrutiny of their papers has begun which will continue till June 19.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had announced a two-hour extension in time for submission of nomination papers which was fully exploited by the aspirants who kept pouring in till last minute at the offices of returning officers to submit their nomination papers.

Key political figures of the country like former prime minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani and his sons, veteran politician Makhdom Javed Hashmi, former foreign minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi and his son, former minister for water Syed Javed Ali Shah, former food minister Malik Sikandar Hayat Bosan and his brother as well as many former MNAs and MPAs submitted their nomination papers.

The Election Commission sources disclosed that a total of 110 candidates submitted their nomination papers to run from six National Assembly constituencies of Multan district. Similarly, as many as 294 candidates deposited papers against 13 Provincial Assembly constituencies.

The ECP record shows that as many as 23 candidates submitted papers for NA-154, 26 NA-155, 23 NA-156, 10 Na-157, 10 NA-158 and 18 NA-159.

Similarly, 29 candidates submitted papers to contest election from PP-211, 30 PP-212, 39 PP-213, 24 PP-213, 20 PP-215, 39 PP-216, 25 PP-217, 17 PP-218, 23 PP-219, 17 PP-220, 11 PP-221, 14 PP-222 and 14 PP-223.

Although senior politician Makhdoom Javed Hashmi had announced not to participate in electoral process just a day ago, he withdrew his statement and submitted nomination papers from two National Assembly constituencies. He submitted papers from NA-155 and NA-158. Talking to the journalists, he said that he would follow party policy and contest election if ticket was granted to him. “Whatever constituency I am granted ticket for, I’ll contest election from there,” he asserted. 

The NA-158 has become the most interesting constituency of Multan district as former prime minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani is contesting election from there on PPP ticket and Ibrahim Khan PTI. After Makhdoom Javed Hashmi’s entry, now there are two aspirants for PML-N ticket in this constituency as it is permanent constituency of former federal minister Javed Ali Shah too.

Similarly, Gilani’s son Abdul Qadir Gillani deposited nomination papers for NA-154, second son Ali Moosa Gillani NA-157 and third Ali Haider Gillani PP-211. All of them will contest election on PPP tickets. The party affiliation of former federal minister Malik Sikandar Hayat Bosan is still a mystery as he deposited his nomination papers for NA-154, PP-211 and 212 while his brother Shaukat Bosan NA-154 and PP-211. Although rumors regarding Bosan’s joining PTI were doing rounds in the town, he has not confirmed any report and submitted papers in independent capacity.

Former foreign minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi will contest election from NA-156 while his son Makhdoom Zain Qureshi submitted papers for NA-157. Two provincial assembly candidates from his panel Mazhar Abbas Raan PP-218 and Dr. Akhtar Malik PP-219 also deposited their nomination papers and all of them will contest election on PTI tickets. Other PTI candidates who submitted their papers included Mian Salman Qureshi from NA-154 and Malik Aamir Dogar NA-155. Babo Nafees Ansari of PPP also submitted papers from NA-155.

Former MNA and PML (N) candidate Sheikh Tariq Rasheed deposited his papers from NA-155 and NA-156, a PTI leader Khalid Javed Warraich NA-154, PP-211 and 212, former president of District Bar Hafiz Allah Ditta Kashif PP-211, Rana Tahir Razzaq NA-154 and PP-211 and former MPA Usman Bhatti PP-214.

Former MPA and PTI candidate from NA-158 Ibrahim Khan also deposited his nomination papers along with his complete panel. Tariq Abdullah submitted papers for PP-220 and Rana Sohail Noon PP-221. Turncoat Rana Qasim Noon, who recently quit PML-N and joined PTI, Dewan Haider Ali and Ashfaq Khakhi also submitted nomination papers from NA-158.

Two former provincial ministers Haji Ehsan Uddin Qureshi and Nazim Shah also deposited papers for contesting election from different provincial constituencies. Haji Ehsan Uddin Qureshi submitted papers for PP-216 on PML-N ticket and Nazim Shah PP-212 PPP ticket.  

The ECP sources said that a tough scrutiny process had been kicked off under which the nomination papers had been sent to NAB, FIA and State Bank. Sources added that the special scrutiny cell of the ECP was equipped with latest technology and it sough family tree of each candidate from NADRA in first step of the scrutiny process.

After the scrutiny process, the appeals against rejection or acceptance of papers can be filed till June 22 while the appellate tribunals will decide these appeals till June 27. The amended lists of the candidates will be displayed on June 28 while the candidates will be allowed to withdraw their nomination papers on June 29. The allotment of electoral signs will also take place on June 30.