ISLAMABAD

With the decision of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf to vacate one of the federal capital's National Assembly constituencies (NA-48), the race is on for securing party ticket in PTI and PML-N for by-polls from this constituency.

On the other hand the chances of recapturing National Assembly constituency NA-56 from Rawalpindi by Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) are over when PTI Chairman Imran Khan decided to retain this seat and vacate seats he had won from Peshawar and Mianwali, his hometown.

Sources in Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) informed that the party would likely repeat Anjum Aqeel Khan, who had lost elections to PTI candidate Makhdoom Javed Hashmi from NA-48, but at the same time they did not rule out bringing of some new face to contest from this constituency in the by-polls when Javed Hashmi would vacate this seat.

PTI sources informed TheNation that the party leadership after carefully analysing the situation has decided that Hashmi would retain his Multan seat and would vacate the seat from the federal capital where they would have edge over the other political players because of its voters composition which is mainly dominated by the urban votes.

From NA-56 PTI chief Imran Khan defeated PML-N candidate Mohammad Hanif Abbassi considered to be a very strong candidate and in case of vacation of the seat the chances of losing the seat are imminent. So keeping in mind the ground realities, it was decided that Imran should retain this seat and would vacate his hometown constituency from Mianwali NA-71 and NA-1 Peshawar where he had defeated one of the Awami National Party stalwart Ghulam Ahmad Bilour.

Sources in PTI said that as the party is going to form government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and keeping in view the popularity of the party in the restive province, they would regain this seat in by-polls after vacation of the seat by Imran.

In the federal capital constituency a number of aspirants for PTI ticket have jumped into the fray and former senator Dr Wasim Shahzad is one of the aspirants with Dr Israr Shah. Shah had also applied for party ticket earlier and is also considered as one of the strong contender for the party ticket keeping in view his past track record.

A few more aspirants are also in the run but the party leadership has to carefully examine the credentials of the candidates before awarding the party ticket for the slot from among these aspirants.

On the other hand by securing over 55,000 votes and remaining runners-up in the elections Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) candidate Anjum Aqeel Khan would be the strong contender for the part ticket and in the view of some senior party leaders he would be once again given the chance to reappear in the by-polls. But on the other hand a very strong lobby within the party was working against him and they wanted some new face in the by-polls in place of Anjum to secure this seat as they have a long charge-sheet against him and they had also presented the same to Mian Nawaz Sharif at the time of ticket awarding for May 11 elections.