More than 40 ‘neutral independent candidates’ poise to give tough challenge to rivals
ISLAMABAD: Over 40 “neutral independent candidates”, without any party affiliation, are poised to present a robust challenge to their political rivals in 40 National Assembly constituencies up for grabs in the upcoming general election scheduled for February 8.
Research conducted by the Hum Investigation Team projects that these independent candidates, or potential electables, could become kingmakers after securing victories in their respective constituencies. A majority of them have previously served in the Parliament.
The research reveals that former MNA Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan is contesting against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf backed candidate Col (retd) Ajmal Sabir and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s Raja Qamar ul Islam in NA-53 Rawalpindi-II, indicating a tough contest in this constituency.
Independent candidate Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar is challenging his political opponents, Tariq Fazal Chaudhry of PML-N, and PTI-backed candidate Shoaib Shaheen in NA-47, Islamabad.
Sardar Mehtab Abbassi is also contesting independently against Murtaza Javed Abbasi of the PML-N and PTI-backed candidate Ali Asghar Khan in NA-16 Abbottabad-1.
Another prominent candidate, Zulfiqar Khosa, is set to contest the election against the PML-N’s Abdul Qadir Khan Khosa and PTI’s Ali Muhammad Khalul in NA-184 Dera Gazi Khan-1. Hashim Jawan Bakhat is contesting against PPP’s Makhdoom Tahir Rashid ud Din and PTI-backed candidate Mumtaz Mustafa in NA-171 Rahim Yar Khan-3.
Ali Nawaz Shah is contesting against PPP’s Pir Aftab Hussain Shah Jelani and PTI-backed candidate Abdul Haque in NA-211 Mirpurkhas-1. Abid Hussain Imam is challenging PML-N’s Syed Muhammad Mukhtar Hussain and independent candidate Raza Hayat in NA-144 Khanewal-1. Sardar Ashiq Hussain Gopang is contesting against PML-N’s Amir Talal Gopang and PTI-backed candidate Abdul Qayyom Khan Jatoi in NA-178 Muzaffargarh-4.
Raza Hayat is contesting against PML-N’s Syed Muhammad Mukhtar Hussain and independent candidate Abid Hussain Imam in NA-144. Afzal Dhandla is challenging PPP’s Ejaz Ali Khan Shahani in NA-92 Bhakkar. Mian Manzoor Watto is contesting against PML-N’s Muhammad Mueen Wattoo and PTI-backed candidate Arshad Ali in NA-138 Okara-4.
Ghulam Bibi Bharwana is contesting against PTI-backed candidate Ghulam Muhammad and PML-N’s Syed Muhammad Raza Bukhari in NA-93 Chiniot-1. Muhammad Moazzam Sher is contesting against PTI-backed candidate Muhammad Akram Khan and IPP’s Gul Asghar Khan Bhagoor in NA-88 Khushab.
Haroon Bandial is contesting against PTI-backed Muhammad Akram Khan and IPP’s Gul Asghar Khan Bhagoor, along with independent candidate Muhammad Moazzam Sher in NA-88 Khushab. Muhammad Tufail is contesting against PTI-backed candidate Rai Hassan Nawaz Khan and IPP’s Malik Nauman Ahmed Langriyal in NA-143 Sahiwal 3.
Salim Saif Ullah Khan is challenging PTI-backed candidate Sher Afzal Khan Marwat and JUI-F’s Asjad Mahmood in NA-41 Lakki Marwat. Yar Muhammad Rind is contesting against BAP’s Khalid Hussain Magsi, JUI-F’s Nizam ud Din Lehri, and PPP’s Mir Ghulam Fareed Raisani in NA-254 Jhal Magsi-cum-Kachi-cum-Nasirabad.
Muhammad Aslam Bhotani is contesting against PML-N’s Jam Kamal Khan and PPP’s Abdul Wahab in NA-257 Hub-cum-Lasbela-cum-Awaran. Ayesha Arshad Khan Lodhi is challenging PTI’s Usman Ali and PML-N’s Chaudhry Muhammad Ashraf in NA-142 Sahiwal-2.
Strong independent candidates Afzal Dhandla and Rashid Akbar Niwani are contesting from NA-92 and NA-91 Bhakkar, respectively.
Jamil Chamkani, Ali Wazir, Raja Pervez from Shangla, Malik Idrees from Kohistan, Major Ret. Javed Jamal, son of Zafrullah Jamali from NA-255, and Mir Humayoon Aziz Kurd from NA-262 are on the list of ‘neutral independent candidates’ who can turn over the game in the general election.