Islamabad: Pakistan Trhrik-e-Inssf ((PTI) candidate Azhar Sadiq is set to sweep the Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK) elections in LA-1 Mirpur constituency.
The PTI has fielded Azhar Sadiq while PML-N has fielded former minister Chaudhry Khalid Masood and PPP gave ticket to former minister Chaudhry Afsar Shahid. Muslim Conference has fielded Ghulam Rabbani.
Though Prime Minister AJK Farooq Haider is unhappy with Masood Khalid yet PML-N’s Masood Khalid is still a strong candidate.
AJK will go to general elections on July 25, Sunday, political temperature has started to boil.
A total of 724 candidates will try their luck for 45 general seats this year – 33 in Kashmir valley and 12 seats allocated for Kashmiri refugees. Out of the 12 seats allocated across Pakistan for Kashmiri refugees from Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), nine fall in Punjab, two in Sindh and one in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Elections in AJK are contested mainly with support of family support as AJK has majority of population of Jaats, Gujjars, Rajas, Syeds, Abbasis, Sudhans, Afridis and others who are dominant families.
A tough battle is expected between Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). Traditionally, the ruling party in Pakistan wins as people tend to vote to the ruling party candidates due to their love for Pakistan.
In Mirpur, PTI is leading on two constituencies while one each is dominated by PML-N and PPP. PTI candidates are leading on two constituencies while one each from PPP and PML-N are leading.
On LA-2, Mirpur-II, PPP has fielded Qasim Majeed, the son of former AJK prime minister Chaudhry Majeed. Nazir Inquilabi is contesting from PML-N while Zafar Anwar is contesting on PTI ticket. A tough contest is expected between PTI and PPP.
On LA-3, Mirpur-III, former minister Chaudhry Mohammad Saeed is contesting on PML-N ticket while former prime minister and PTI AJK president Barrister Sultan Mehmood Chaudhry is contesting. PPP has fielded Ch Mohammad Ashraf. A tough contest is expected between PTI and PML-N but Sultan Mehmood has an edge.
In LA-4 Mirpur-IV, PML-N’s former minister Chaudhry Rukhsar is pitched against PTI’s Chaudhry Arshad Hussain and PPP’s Faiz Hameed Faizi. A tough battle is expected between PTI and PML-N.
In three Bhimber constituencies, two PTI candidates are in lead while one is being consolidated by the PPP. The PML-N has marginal lead on one constituency while PTI is trailing closely behind.
LA-5 Bhimber-I, PML-N has fielded former minister Col Waqar Noor, while PTI has fielded Chaudhry Anwarul Haq and PPP has awarded ticket to former minister Ch Pervez Ashraf. Muslim Conference has fielded Sardar Shafique Jaral. A tough contest is likely between the four parties but PPP’s Ch Pervez Ashraf is leading for now.
LA-6 Bhimber-II is close to the Line of Control (LoC). Chaudhry Ali Shaan Sohni is contesting from any party for the first time. In the past, he has been winning as an independent. PML-N has fielded Raja Maqsood while the PPP fielded Ch Idrees. Chaudhry Ali Shaan Sohni is leading.
LA-7 Bhimber-III is the constituency where the toughest contest in across Azad Jammu and Kashmir polls. Former senior minister Chaudhry Tariq Farooq of the PML-N is facing a challenge from former speaker Chaudhry Awarul Haq who is contesting on PTI ticket.
In Kotli, PPP is dominating the contest as its candidates are leading on at least three out of six seats. PTI is leading on two seats and one may be won by Muslim Conference.
LA-8, Nakyal, Kotli-I, Raj Mehal which is a new constituency. Malik Mohammad Nawaz had won in year 2015 from the platform of Muslim Conference and this time, Malik Nawaz is again contesting from Muslim Conference. He is being challenged by Zafar Iqbal Malik from PTI and Malik Zulfiqar Ali from PML-N. PPP has fielded Aftab Anjum Advocate.
In Raj Mehal, there is a neck-to-neck fight between Malik Nawaz of Muslim Conference and Zafar Iqbal Malik of the PTI but the former has an edge over his challenger.
LA-9 Kotli-II Nakyal. This is almost on Line of Control (LoC) and this constituency belongs to former premier AJK Sardar Sikandar Hayat. His brother Sardar Naeem is contesting from Muslim Conference.
Muslim Conference had awarded ticket to Sardar Khizer Hayat who is a strong candidate due to his Thakyal family but later ticket was given to Sardar Naeem which made Thakyal outrageous and announced to support Javed Iqbal Budhanvi who is contesting from PPP. PPP’s candidate’s position is better now. PTI has awarded ticket to a new face, Asif Hayat Kailvi who is not a strong contender. Sardar Munir is contesting from PML-N.
LA-10 Kotli City was won by Sardar Farooq Sikandar, the son of Sardar Sikandar Hayat, from the PML-N in year 2015 who is now contesting from the Muslim Conference platform. He is facing Chaudhry Mohammad Yasin of the PPP while major contest is between Farooq Sikandar and Ch Yasin. PPP is leading slightly.
LA-11, Kotli-IV Raja Mohammad Naseer is facing a challenge from Chaudhry Akhlaq of PTI. PTI is leading this battle. PPP has fielded Sardar Bashir Pehalwan and Muslim Conference has pitted Raja Iftikhar. Raja family has been divided and PTI may take benefit.
LA-12 Kotli belongs to Chaudhry Yaseen of the PPP and he may win it again. He is facing Raja Rayasat of PML-N and Shaukat Fareed of PTI.
At LA-13 Kotli VI, Raja Ayaz Ahmed Khan of PML-N is facing challenge from PTI’s Nisar Ansar Abdali of PTI. PPP has fielded Waleed Inquilabi. PTI is leading the contest but tough contest is between PTI and PPP.