Tough competition expected in cantonments

RAWALPINDI: The garrison city’s constituency Rawalpindi Cantonment NA -61 will witness neck and neck competition on July 25.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is confident to retain this seat on basis of its government’s performance in which a number of development schemes were completed.

The main battle is expected between Malik Ibrar of PML-N and Amir Mahmood Kyani of PTI. Other prominent contestants include Haji Gulzar Awan of PPP and Mian Zafar Yaseen of MMA.

The constituencies NA-61 were formerly known as NA-39 from 1985 to 1997 and after delimitation process in 2002, NA-39 was declared NA-54.

This constituency mostly covers the Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (RCB) area and some parts of the Chaklala Cantonment Board (CCB) limits.

As compared to the rest of six constituencies of the district, this constituency has 19 candidates, the highest number of aspiring contestants including seven independents.

The constituency has 367,782 registered voters including 193,240 male and 174,542 female voters, while 299 polling stations including 152 male and 145 female have been established in the constituency while 314 presiding officers, 1,441 assistant presiding officers and 720 polling officers would perform the election duty.

In 1988 Raja Shahid Zafar of PPP bagged 60,701 votes to defeat Muhammad Basharat Raja of Islami Jamhori Ittehad (IJI).

In 1990, Gen Ziaul Haq’s son, Ejazul Haq won the seat on IJI ticket with 87,829 votes while Raja Shahid Zafar of Peoples Democratic Alliance had bagged 57,130 votes.

In 1993 election Haq bagged 87,829 votes while Zafar got 64,655votes. In 1997 Haq again become victorious by securing 87,392 votes on PML -N ticket and Zafar got 31,838 votes.

In 2002, Zumurd Khan of PPP won the National Assembly seat with 31,400 votes and Raja Muhammad Zafarul Haq of PML-N lost by 2,600 votes.

In 2008, Malik Ibrar Ahmad of PML-N won the National Assembly seat with 58,200 votes and Zumarad Khan lost by 24,500 votes.

In 2013 elections, Ahmad again won by securing 76,336 votes against Hina Munzoor of PTI who got 68,687 votes.

In 2018, PTI awarded ticket to a new candidate who is president of PTI Northern Punjab Amir Kaini. He will face former MNA Ibrar, PPP candidate Haji Gulzar, besides contestants of Mutahidda Majlise Amal (MMA) and Tehreek-e-Labaik (TLY).

All major political parties are contesting elections with a strong panel on two provincial assembly seats that fall under NA-61.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 14th, 2018.

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