The recent by-elections where seats vacated by grand PTI stalwarts Qureshi and Hashmi were conquered with great margins by the PPP and the PMLN–displays the reality of Pakistani politics. The PTI should have bagged the half a dozen seats vacated by sitting National Assembly members. Mr. Khan failed to get the seats which would have given him a toe hold into the National Assembly and way to influence the parliament.
By-polls were held for NA-168 (Vehari), NA-149 (Multan–II), NA-148 (Multan-I), NA-195 (Rahim Yar Khan), NA-140 (Kasur-III), NA-9 (Mardan-I), PP-18 (Attock-IV), PS-57 (Badin-I), PS-53 (Hyderabad-XI), and PP-44 (Mianwali-II).
The Tsunami has been downgraded to a Tropical storm. Let us examine the results–
- The NA-168 seat became vacant after MNA Azeem Daultana of the PPP died in a car accident. The ticket was finally awarded to his sister Natasha Daultana. Bilal Akbar Bhatti was the opposing candidate who was given the ticket of PMLN. PPPs Daultana edged out Bhatti.
- The NA-9 seat became vacant following the resignation of ANPs Khawaja Mohammad Khan Hoti, who joined the PTI. The ANP candidate, Himayatullah Mayar, defeated his competitor Maulana Shujaul Mulk of the JUI-F, with over 2,000 votes in the by-elections. The ANP candidate Mayer won!
- The NA-148 seat in Multan became vacant after the resignation of PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi.Qureshi.Former PML-N leader turned PTI stalwart Makhdoom Javed Hashmi were the traditional contenders. The son of PM Yousaf Raza Gilani, Ali Moosa Gilani of the PPP won the ticket defeating the PMLN’s Abdul Ghaffar Dogar, former mayor of Multan.
- The NA-149 constituency became vacant following the resignation of Javed Hashmi of the PMLN, who joined the PTI. NA-149 has remained the constituency of PMLN under Tariq Rasheed, after the former mayor of Multan and brother of Tahir Rasheed who recently re-joined the PML-N. The PPPs candidate was Liaquat Dogar, a former MNA and brother of Senator Salahuddin Dogar.
- NA-140 Kasur: The seat was vacated by PPP’s Sardar Asif Ahmad Ali who joined PTI. Kasuri and Asif who joined PTI supported two different candidates in the by-elections. Kasuri supported Lakhvi to eliminate Malik Rashid from the constituency. Sardar Waqas supported PPP’s Dogar to gain its backing for the next elections.
- NA-195 [Rahimyar Khan]: The constituency was vacated after former minister Jehangir Tareen resigned from his National Assembly seat, and joined the PTI. Makhdoom Mustafa Mehmood of PMLF, son of Makhdoom Ahmed Mehmood, who is also the father-in-law of PM Yousaf Raza Gilani’s son Abdul Qadir Gilani. Following seat adjustment, no other party – including the PPP, the PMLN and the PMLQ – fielded a candidate against him. Maulvi Tariq Chohan, an independent candidate with official backing of Sipah-e-Sahaba and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, and unofficial support from the JUI-F, sources said. It ended up in a landslide victory for Makhdoom Mustafa Mehmood, with a 40,000 point lead.
- PP-18 [Attock] This seat was vacated by PPP’s Malik Khurram Ali Khan, after he joined PTI. PMLN’s Azam Geeba entered politics at a provincial level for the first time. Geeba won over his nearest rival independent candidate Malik Amanat Khan leaving the PPPs Malik Sameen Khan in third place.
- PS-53 [Tando Muhammad Khan ]: The seat for PS-53 was vacated after Syed Mohsin Shah Bukhari passed away on January 14. The real contest was between the late MPA’s widow Syeda Wahida Mohsin Bukhari, and an independent candidate Mir Mushtaq Talpur. Wahida won.
- PS-57 [Badin]: Pappu Shah, an independent candidate who later joined Pakistan Muslim League-Likeminded, was considered a tough contestant for Hasnain Mirza. The PMLN fielded Mir Manzoor Talpur, Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat fielded Maulana Abdullah Sindhi and Ghazi Sallauddin was given a ticket by the MQM, local observers said.Shah alleged that Zulfiqar Mirza had ‘imported’ gangsters who, dressed up as Rangers, spread fear amongst the voters. The PPP candidate Barrister Hasnain Mirza, son of former Sindh Home Minister Dr Zulfiqar Mirza has won Sindh Assembly seat by defeating his rivals with a clear margin.
- PP-44 [Mianwali] This seat was vacated after the death of Rokhri’s father, Amir Hayat Khan Rokhri . PPP’s candidate Sardar Bahadar Babar Khan disappointed the party. PMLNs Malik Adil Abdullah Rokhri won the PP-44 Mianwali constituency
Mr. Khan’s failure to win seats in the heart of his constituency display ominuous signs for the PTI–which displayed great street power to gather mobs in in Lahore, Karachi and other places. Mr. Khan may be able to magnetize the youth, but the internet does a party make. Facebook doesn’t have any voting booths, and tweeets cannot put ballots into a box. The by-elections are a good barometer of what will happen in the Senate.
The Pakistani Senate does not elect Senators directly–it is a progeny of the National Assembly and a symbol of the status quo which the PTI opposes so adamantly. The legislators in four provincial assemblies and the National Assembly will vote to elect Senators.
Lets see what is happening in the Senate. About 92 candidates will be contesting 45 Senate seats today (Friday). 9 Senators have already been elected unopposed. Polling would be started at 9:00 am and would be continued till 4:00 pm.
By 5 pm half the Pakistani legislature will be in the hands of the PPP and the PMLN. Mr. Zardari will be able to block any and all legislation that is passed in the National Assembly. A bill cannot become law unless is has been passed by both houses of parliament.
We had predicted that the PTI will win about 40-50 seats in the National Assembly. If this happens, Mr. Khan may be able to sit in the opposition of hold alliances with its nemesis. Right now it has no friends on the political landscape.
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- Khan tsunami: Imran shreds PMLN, PPP and explains charges against him (rupeenews.com)
- PMLN declares assetts (rupeenews.com)
- The Ides of March (rupeenews.com)
- ‘I will shoot down US drones’ Imran Khan (rupeenews.com)
- A hung parliament will rule the Hindu Kush (rupeenews.com)