LAHORE - Facing a tough challenge of fielding strong candidates against its opponents, the PPP on Monday announced its contestants for 11 National Assembly seats from Lahore.

Three of the PPP hopefuls are novice in politics with no previous experience of contesting election. Even the experienced ones, leaving few, are most likely to end up as losers.

An old face, Syed Asif Hashmi would be contesting from NA-118. He will face Hamid Zaman of the PTI. The PML-N has not announced its candidate for this constituency so far. The PM-Q is less likely to contest this seat because of the seat adjustment deal with the PPP. 

A former chairman of ETPB, Hashmi lost the 2008 election to Malik Riaz of the PML-N.

The PPP has fielded Sohail Malik from NA-119 against Hamza Shahbaz of the PML-N. The PTI has awarded ticket to Muhammad Madni from here.

Malik is a first-timer who once contested for councillor but lost to his rival. He is the son of an old PPP worker and is a business man by profession. Young and energetic, Sohail is known for making fiery speeches at party meetings.

Zubair Kardar will be facing PML-N chief Mian Nawaz Sharif at NA-120. He is the nephew of Latif Kardar, former PPP MNA who later ditched the party. Former finance minister Hafeez Kardar and Latif Kardar are cousins.

Zubair is a first-timer and has never been an active member of the PPP. According to party sources, he is not a serious contender and may be asked to withdraw in favour of Mian Nawaz Sharif at some later stage. They say that there is a secret agreement between the PPP and the PML-N about not fielding candidates against each other’s leadership.

The PTI has awarded ticket to Dr Yasmin Rashid from NA-120. She had been an active member of the Pakistan Medical Association in the last decade.

The name of Aurangzeb Barki has been finalised for NA-121 who would be contesting his third consecutive election from this constituency without winning. The PML-N is yet to finalise its candidate while the PTI has picked Barrister Hamid Azhar to contest from this constituency.

Barrister Amir Hassan, the son of an old party worker Khalid Sharif, will be the PPP candidate from NA-122.  Also a first-timer, Hassan has been selected to face off the PTI chief Imran Khan. Sardar Ayyaz Sadiq may be the PML-N candidate from here.

From NA-123, the PPP has awarded ticket to Haji Azizur Rehman Chan for the sixth time. He had been in the electoral politics from Lahore since late 1980s, but never made it to the National Assembly. He won a Punjab Assembly seat in 1988 but lost all the elections on National Assembly seat afterwards. He is likely to face Pervaiz Malik of the PML-N and Atif Chaudhry of the PTI.

Bushra Aitzaz, wife of Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan, will try her luck from her husband’s constituency, NA-124. Rohail Asghar is the likely PML-N candidate from here but there are reports that Mian Nawaz Sharif may not field any candidate against Bushra due to Aitzaz’s friendly relations with the Sharif family. Waleed Iqbal, son of Justice (r) Javid Iqbal, is the PTI candidate from NA-124.

Navid Chaudhry of the PPP will be contesting from NA-125 for the third consecutive time. He would be competing with Khawaja Saad Rafique of the PML-N and Hamid Khan Advocate of the PTI on May 11.

The PPP has not yet finalised its candidate from NA-126.

Khurram Dastgir Khosa has been given PPP ticket from NA-127. Son of former Punjab governor Sardar Latif Khan Khosa, Khurrum is a novice in electoral politics. The PML-N is yet to finalise its candidate from this constituency while the PTI has nominated Nasrullah Mughal.

The PPP has not announced candidate from NA-128 while from NA-129, the party has fielded Shabbir Mayo who won this seat in 2008 elections. But this time, he will have to face a tough competition from former Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif.

 The PTI is yet to announce its candidate from here.

Samina Khalid Ghurki has again been asked to contest from NA-130, a seat she is retaining since 2002.  Ejaz Diyal of the PML-N and Talib Sindhu of the PTI may be her rival candidates.