LAHORE - They are no stranger to the people though yet they are strangers in the constituency. None of the four major players actually live in NA-133, a National Assembly constituency which now retains only parts of the old NA-127.

It comprises the localities of Kot Lakhpat, Ittefaq Factory, Township, Johar Town, Maulana Shaukat Ali Road, Bagrian Road, Green Town, Chungi Amar Sidhu, Wifaqi Colony, Shah de Khohi and settlements around Qainchi area of Lahore.

Presently living in Gulberg, PML-N’s Pervaiz Malik is from the Sanda neighbourhood in the provincial metropolis.

PTI’s candidate Ejaz Ahmad Ch is resident of Samanabad whereas Aslam Gill of the PPP and Zaeem Qadri (an independent candidate) are from the Gulberg and Cavalry Ground areas respectively. Zaeem originally hails from Lawrence Road area of Lahore.

Given its new composition and the strong public perception that the PML-N may not be able to form government this time, this constituency is going to offer a hard turf for the major players, two of whom are first timers. It is most likely to throw a split mandate on July 25. 

The margin of victory on this seat is also likely to remain narrow given the anticipated overall division of votes among the major contestants.

Besides, Pir Ejaz Hashmi of MMA, Matloob Ahmad of Tehreek-e-Labbaik and Hafiz Khalid Waleed of Allah-o-Akbar Tehreek will also have their share of votes.

Had these new religious parties not been in the contest, a sizeable part of the religious vote might have gone to the PML-N candidate. This constituency is mainly dominated by three clans-Mayo, Arain and Jaat.

A vast section of Mayo clan is reportedly supporting Aslam Gill of the PPP while the other clans will be voting for the PML-N and PTI candidates in varying proportions.

Shabbir Mayo, a former PPP MNA from this constituency switched loyalties to the PML-N recently, but Nawaz party did not considered him for the party ticket this time. Seports coming from the constituency suggest that Shabbir Mayo has lost support of his clan whose influential groups have assured their support to the PPP candidate.

Though Pervaiz Malik is a strong candidate but new factors in this constituency have made the results unpredictable.

Initially, the PML-N had awarded its ticket to Waheed Alam Khan for this constituency which prompted a strong reaction from Zaeem Qadri who revolted against the party leadership and decided to stay in the contest as an independent candidate.

Later, the leadership pulled Waheed out of NA-133 and fielded him against Dr Yasmin Rashid from NA-125. It happened when Maryam Nawaz and Pervaiz Malik decided not to face the PTI lady who had given tough time to the PML-N in the by-election held last year in old NA-120.

In 2002, Pervaiz was elected MNA from NA-120 (Now NA-125), but this time he was not sure of success from here. He had then defeated Altaf Qureshi of the PPP.

In 2010, Pervaiz returned to the Lower House in a by-election on a seat (NA-123 Lahore) vacated by Makhdoom Javed Hashmi. Mian Hamid Miraj of the PTI was his main rival at that time. In 2013, he contested election from NA-127 and emerged victorious by defeating Atif Ch of the PTI.

Malik is a seasoned politician who was elected member of the National Assembly for the first time in 1997. He has a degree of BSc honors in Engineering from Aston University.

Pervaiz served as Federal Minister for Commerce for the first time in the Cabinet of Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. His wife Shaista Pervaiz also served a term as MNA against a reserved seat for women from 2013 to 2018.

His sister, Yasmin Rehman is married to PPP leader Misbahur Rehman. She served a five year term as MNA against a reserved seat for women from 2008 to 2013. Also, Pervaiz Malik is real brother of former Lahore High Court Judge Malik Muhammad Qayyum and present head of PIMS, Islamabad, Dr Javid Akram. 

PTI’s Ejaz Chaudhry who is former President of party’s Punjab chapter is a first-timer who has never contested any National Assembly or Provincial Assemb1y election before.

Chaudhry is son-in-law of former Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Amir, Mian Tufail Ahmad and also served as Deputy Mayor of Lahore during Zia’s era.

He is contesting his first election from the PTI platform after leaving the Jamaat-e-Islami, his parent party. In 2013 elections, Ejaz Ch was denied party ticket despite the fact that he was sitting President of party’s Punjab chapter at that time.

PPP has fielded an old party guard Aslam Gill who would be contesting a general election for the first time. Gill had contested Senate election in 2012 but lost to an independent candidate Mohsin Leghari due to poor strategy by the party leadership. A die-hard PPP Jiala, Gill also served as Vice-Chairman of LDA during second tenure of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto.

A law graduate from Quaid-e-Azam Law College, Lahore, Zaeem Qadri is nephew of Syed Shamim Hussain Qadri, former Chief Justice of Lahore High Court who also remained a Member of Punjab Legislative Assembly during 1951-55 and Member, Provincial Assembly of West Pakistan during 1956-58.

Zaeem remained member of Punjab Assembly during 2008-18 and served as Minister for Auqaf & Religious Affairs and also as Special Assistant to Chief Minister on Higher Education during 2008 to 2013.

His wife, Syeda Uzma Qadri also served a five year term as MPA against a reserved seat for women.

Two provincial constituencies, PP-166 and PP-167 fall under NA-133. A three-way contest is going to take place among Ramzan Bhatti of the PML-N, Abdul Karim Kalwar of the PTI and Mian Tariq Aziz of the PPP in PP-166.  Similarly, Mian Saleem of the PML-N, Nazir Chohan of the PTI and Muhammad Aslam Pervaiz of the PPP are in the run from PP-167.