Multani politics moves around the Makhdooms,Dogars,and new entrants

Although only six days are left in polling, political parties look unsuccessful in gearing up their election campaigns in Multan district. Political pundits believe that the election campaign lacks conventional zeal and colour because all the three major parties —Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf, Muslim League-Nawaz, Mutahidda Majlis-i-Amal and PPP  — are struggling against their inner demons.
PTI’s strategy to take electables on board fires back, and that too so badly that its own city  president Khalid Khan Khakwani quitted the party and contesting poll as an independent candidate and other are now running campaigns against party candidates. The PTI may pay heavy toll for Qureshi-Tarin tug of war on the polling day. Salman Naeem Sheikh is a sword of democles hanging on Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi
Once the largest party of Multan, PPP appears to have shrunk into a one-man’s enterprise. It even failed to find candidates for six National Assembly constituencies of Multan. Resultantly, tickets were granted to just three eligible candidates, all of them Gilanis. One ticket was given to former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani, other his eldest son Abdul Qadir Gilani and third his another son Ali Moosa Gilani. Rest of three constituencies are left vacant. It appears as if the party leadership does not consider anyone but Gilanis eligible for granting NA tickets.
PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif’s ‘peaceful’ arrest has delivered a severe blow to the party’s election campaign. Political analysts believe that the party’s campaign would have gained momentum, had its leadership presented a successful power show at the airport on arrival of Nawaz.Some people say that PML-N candidates have accepted their defeat in Generakl elections and they are launching b their electioneering half heartedly.
Social media is currently abuzz with rumours regarding Shehbaz Sharif’s alleged ‘intentional failure’ in reaching the airport with rally to welcome Nawaz. As the elections are nearing, the rumour factories have started churning out fake stories regarding betrayal of Shehbaz Sharif at full pace, making PML-N workers further confused.
The battle lines in the constituency are drawn between Seraiki speaking residents of the old Multan city and those who have migrated over the last few decades. Language and ethnic identity will remain a major influence on voting decisions in this constituency which is entirely urban in its composition, and has the highest literacy rate in the city.
Another influential factor will be the religious divide. The constituency is dotted with religious seminaries of almost every major sect.
The number of registered voters is 485810, including 260780 male and 225030 female voters.
In 2013, Javed Hashmi of the PTI defeated Sheikh Mohammad Tariq Rasheed of PML-N (old NA-149). After leaving PTI in 2014, Javed Hashmi re-joined PML-N in December 2017. When the former Prime Minister and head of PML-N came to Multan in May this year, Javed Hashmi reportedly requested him for the party’s ticket, which was not granted so he withdrew his nomination papers from NA-155 and NA-158. The veteran politician announced that he would support the PML-N candidate in the area.
In previous elections, the constituency has mostly seen two-way fights between PPP and PML-N candidates. A close aide of former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani, Amir Dogar, who fought on the PPP ticket in 2013 and stood third after Javed Hashmi and Sheikh Tariq Rasheed, has left the PPP after the death of his father Malik Salahuddin Dogar. The senior Dogar had a 50-year long association with PPP, and he was the first senator from Multan during the premiership of Gillani.
Malik Amir Dogar joined PTI in 2015 and is now contesting in NA-155 on the ticket of PTI. He defeated Hashmi in the 2014 by-election by a margin of more than 10,000 votes. PTI vice chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi was the main supporter of Dogar on the matter of the party ticket, while Jahangir Tareen opposed him on grounds that NAB inquiries were underway against him.
The discussions in corner meetings of PTI revolve around the message of party chairman Imran Khan. The party candidate and his campaign team solicits votes in the name of Imran Khan. PTI’s Zaheer-ud-din Alizai, a nawab from a feudal family, is contesting on one of the three provincial assembly seats in NA-155, PP-214. From PP-215 and PP-213, Javed Akhtar Ansari and Waseem Khan Badozai are contesting polls, respectively.
Shahid Mahmood Khan, who joined PTI from PML-N, is also supporting the party candidate in PP-214 even though he was among the aspirants for the ticket. Due to his links in the civil society, he has managed to secure the support of several professional associations for the PTI panel.
Shahid Mahmood Khan’s brother Malik Adnan Dogar is the president of the Multan High Court Bar Association. PTI’s Amir Dogar also enjoys the support of most madaris. Many religious circles including Anjuman-e-Haideria have extended support to the PTI panel.
Because of Makhdoom Javed Hashmi, this area once was considered a strong hold of PML-N, but when he left the party, the N League gave its ticket of Sheikh Tariq Rasheed, former MNA and MPA. Tariq Rasheed is PML-N’s general secretary in Multan and is currently serving as the chairman of the Zakat Committee. Rasheed, a businessman, has a vote bank in the old city quarters.
Dr. Khalid Khakwani, former district president of PTI, had resigned from the party after he was denied ticket for PP-216, despite many efforts of Jahangir Tareen. Dr. Khakwani is now contesting polls as an independent candidate on the symbol of “pot” from NA-155. Dr. Khakwani enjoys the support of PPP since the party has not fielded any candidate here.
On the other hand, PML-N has fielded Haji Ahsannudin Qursehi, against PTI’s Nadeem Qureshi on PP-216. Munawwar Ahsan Qureshi, son of Ahsannduddin Qureshi, is the deputy mayor of Multan. PML-N youth wing president Zahid Adnan Guddu, as an independent candidate, is contesting against Haji Ahsanuddin from the same constituency. Haji Ahsannuddin is a popular candidate in old Multan city, particularly in the area “Hannu ka Chajja”. From PP-214, Malik Asif Rafique Rajwana, son of the Punjab governor, is contesting polls on the ticket of PML-N. PML-N candidates banking on the sympathy wave to after their leader former PM Nawaz Sharif’s imprisonment. In their corner meetings, they are focusing on brick and mortar projects initiated by PML-N is southern Punjab. PML-N’s candidate Mohmmad Ali Khokar, the Multan Development Authority chairman, is also contesting polls, in PP-213.
PML-N has adopted a strategy to malign PTI leaders during its corner meetings. PML-N office bearers make allegations that the great grandfather of Shah Mahmood Qureshi, whose name was also Shah Mahmood Qureshi, helped and supported the British against Muslims in the Pakistan Movement. The forefathers of Shah Mahmood Qureshi are being depicted as traitors, who allegedly received huge amount of money, lands and other benefits from the British officers and killed Muslims population in Multan.
Of all Multan constituencies, Mili Muslim League and Terhreek-e-Labaik Pakistan have fielded the most number of candidates in NA-155.
Arshad Bhatti of the Allah ho Akbar Tehrik (MMA’s front) is contesting polls from NA-155 and Imran Mayo from PP-215. Mufti Abdul Aleem Jalali is the TLP candidate in NA-155. To encourage voters, Maulana Fazalur Rehman, Hafiz Saeed and MML head Saifullah Khalid have made several rounds of this constituency in the past few months and addressed political procession.
Their campaign speeches revolve around issues such as Kashmir, Sharia laws, and corruption. Moreover, they also glorify the death of terrorism convict Mumtaz Qadri. The famous slogan of TLP is “badlo is Nizam ko, vote do Islam ko” (change the system, and vote for Islam). Liaqat Baloch, the secretary general of JI, has promised to liberate the people of southern Punjab from the scourge of feudal lords in his campaign speeches.
A survey conducted by South Punjab News suggested that the main civic issue of the constituency was poor sewerage systems. Residents of Wahdat Colony held a protest against lack of sewerage facilities lately. They complained that sewage gets mixed with drinking water due to poor maintenance of sanitation infrastructure. This causes various diseases, including typhoid and malaria.
Due to the presence of stagnant water on roads, it becomes difficult to even breathe, the protesters from the colony told this scribe. They said that the problems were highlighted in the general elections of 2013 as well, but no action was taken by the elected representatives.
Constituencies and Candidates
The election commission has allotted electoral symbols to 68 candidates running from six NA constituencies and 165 from 13 provincial assembly constituencies in Multan district.
The PML-N and PTI have fielded their candidates for all six NA seats but PPP failed to bring candidates from NA-155, 156 and 159.
However, the situation on provincial constituencies is different as all the three major parties — PML-N, PPP . PTI ,MMA and Labbaik Tehrik— have their candidates against all 13 PA seats of Multan. Some other parties like MMA, Tehreek Labbaik and Pakistani Saraiki Party are also in the run.
The ECP has set up a total of 1,817 polling stations across the district for 25,56,140 eligible voters to use their right to choose their representatives for next five years on July 25.
NA-154 Multan-1
Once this constituency was known because of former prime minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, but now it is more famous for its turncoats. The PTI candidate in 2013 election is now PML-N candidate, the PML-N candidate in 2013 got ticket from PTI, which was snatched from him by a former PPP MPA and close aide of Gilani.
Former federal minister Malik Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan, who is running independent after being deprived of PTI ticket, held his portfolio till last night of the government and then joined PTI the next day. He contested 2002 election on PML-Q ticket, 2008 as independent, 2013 PML-N and now again independent but he is still considered as electable
The current PTI candidate Malik Ahmad Hassan Dehar used to be a close aide of Yousuf Raza Gilani in the past. He quitted PPP in 2013, got ticket offer and joined PML-N, then switched to PTI, quit PTI and joined PPP and then again joined PTI in 2018.
The PML-N has granted ticket to Mian Salman Qureshi, who contested 2013 election on PTI ticket as a new entrant in Multan politics but he secured 40,000 votes He quitted his party after denial of ticket.
PPP is the only party whose candidates have shown consistency. Syed Abdul Qadir Gilani, son of Yousuf Raza Gilani, who was party candidate in 2013, is again contesting election from this constituency on same party’s ticket.
It is also interesting to mention here that the MMA, an alliance of religious parties, has granted its ticket to a female candidate Irum Gull from this constituency.
A total of 13 candidates including the ones fielded by Tehreek Labbaik Pakistan, All Pakistan Muslim League and Pakistan Saraiki Party are also in the run from this constituency. The ECP has set up a total of 287 polling stations for 385,233 eligible voters in this constituency. Previously this constituency was known as NA-151 and it is consisted of both rural and urban areas of Multan.
Political observers are of the opinion that there will be tough contest between Abdul Qadir Gilani and Sikandar Bosan in this constituency despite the fact that Bosan is running independent and currently suffering from renal failure.
NA-155 Multan-11
It would be appropriate if we say the majority of inner demons posing challenge to their own parties are from this constituency. The nomination of a “past jiyala” as PTI candidate has “shaken and shattered” the  city chapters of the party. PTI city president Dr Khalid Khakwani went even one step further and announced to contest election as an independent after quitting party. The PPP has assured him support as they have failed to field their candidate in this constituency.
Current PTI candidate Malik Aamir Dogar got elected MNA from the same constituency (previously NA-149) in 2014's by-election as an independent candidate with the support of PTI. He defeated Makhdoom Javed Hashmi inspite of fully support of ruling Muslim League, whose defection from PTI caused the by-poll. Hashmi also ran as an independent candidate in the by-election and PML-N supported him, but to no avail. Dogar has been member of Punjab Assembly on PPP tickets twice, Naib Zila Nazim of PPP and also MNA ticket-holder of the same party. Issuance of ticket to him caused a strong revolt in PTI .
On the other hand, there was a serious uproar in PML-N too against likely nomination of Hashmi as party’s candidate from NA-155. Hashmi had submitted his nomination papers for NA-155 on which chairmen of almost all union councils falling in NA-155 warned the party leadership in a joint press conference a month back that they would oppose any other candidate than Sheikh Tariq Rasheed. Hashmi has been an MNA from this constituency and he enjoys a strong support from people. Although the party has nominated Sheikh Tariq Rasheed as its candidate and Hashmi has withdrawn his papers, the current standoff may prove counter-productive for PML-N on election day.
The ECP has set up a total of 360 polling stations in the constituency for 485,810 registered voters. A total of 14 candidates are in the run and PML-N, PTI, APML, Sunni Tehreek, Pak Sarzameen Party, Allah-o-Akbar Tehreek, Tehreek Labbaik Pakistan, Mustaqbil Pakistan and Tehreek Labbaik Islam have fielded their candidates.
The NA-155 is an urban constituency with comparatively high literacy rate. Almost all top educational institutions including Bahauddin Zakariya University, Women University, Education University, National University of Modern Languages, Emerson College, Science College and renowned English schools are located in it.
Political observers anticipate a tough contest between PML-N and PTI while indicating that the elements like high literacy rate, posh areas and high number of educated youth might give benefit to the PTI.
NA-156 Multan-111
Once a stronghold of PML-N, this urban constituency of Multan, previously known as NA-150, was conquered by PTI in last (2013) election. Shah Mahmood Qureshi defeated Rana Mahmoodul Hassan of Nawaz League. Despite tough conditions, Rana had won this seat twice; in 2002 and 2008. However, Shah Mahmood’s entry into the constituency in 2013 changed the scenario and he deprived PML-N of this constituency.
The PML-N came up with a solution to Shah Mahmood problem — to pit a pir against pir — but this strategy failed even before implementation. Party sources claimed Rana Mahmood was made senator to get this seat vacated for Javed Hashmi. However, when party asked Hashmi to contest election against Shah Mahmood he refused. Then the nomination of Syed Tanveerul Hassan Gilani, a cousin of Yousuf Raza, had been finalised but a strong opposition from within the party forced the leadership to reverse this decision. Now Amir Saeed Ansari, an ex-MPA and son of current deputy mayor of Multan, is PML-N candidate against Shah Mahmood. PPP has left this constituency vacant.
The constituency is consisted of urban areas of Multan and the election commission has set up 312 polling stations for 444,724 registered voters. Out of total 13 candidates, four are independent while rest of nine have been fielded by PML-N, PTI, Tehreek Labbaik Pakistan, Allah-o-Akbar Tehreek, APML, Pakistan Awami Raj, Pakistan Kissan Ittehad, Mustaqbil Pakistan and MMA.
Different analyses done by the political experts indicate that although Shah Mahmood is in a strong position, he will be challenged by N candidate Aamir Saeed Ansari, whose clan — Ansaris — constitutes a considerable vote bank in the constituency.
NA-157 Multan-IV
Previously NA-148, this constituency (NA-157) has been the epicentre of pir politics in Multan. Two arch-rivals and caretakers of two important shrines of Multan — Shah Mahmood Qureshi of Hazrat Bahauddin Zakariya and Javed Hashmi of Makhdoom Rasheed — have contested many elections against each other from this constituency. However, both of them are out of the constituency now. In 2013, the constituency was won by PML-N candidate Abdul Ghaffar Dogar.
Although both Shah Mahmood and Javed Hashmi are out of this constituency, pir politics still continues. The PTI has granted ticket to Shah Mahmood’s son Zain Qureshi while PPP fielded Gilani’s son Ali Moosa against him. Gilanis are also related to another important and famous shrine of Multan — Darbar Hazrat Moosa Pak.
As many as eight candidates are in the run for this constituency out of which four are independent and as many fielded by political parties. Besides PML-N, PPP and PTI, Tehreek Labbaik Pakistan has also fielded its candidate from this constituency. The ECP has set up 260 polling stations for 390,725 voters of this constituency.
Recent defections from PML-N and PPP have delivered serious blow to both the parties just ahead of election. Rajan Bukhsh Gilani, an influential and cousin of Gilani, who sought PA ticket, quit PML-N after being denied the ticket. He has joined hands with Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
Similarly, Murid Qureshi, brother of Shah Mahmood, quit PPP after being neglected and announced to support PML-N. Political analysts believe the candidates of all the three major parties — PPP, PML-N and PTI — are in strong condition and there will be a tough contest among them all.
NA-158 Multan-V
Pir politics has a strong presence in this constituency too. Gilanis, Hashmis and Shahs have visible influence on voters of this rural constituency of Multan district. They frequently shuttle between one party to the other, so do their voters. Federal minister in last N government Javed Ali Shah and his brother Mujahid Ali Shah have been switching between PML-N and PML-Q, Nawab Liaqat PPP and PML-N and late Asad Murtaza Gillani PPP, PML-N and PPP (Rao Sikandar Group).
Gilanis have a strong presence here since Bhutto era in terms of Yousuf Raza’s uncle Hamid Raza Gilani’s influence. Similarly, Syeds, Noons, Raos and Pathans also have considerable influence. Former federal minister Javed Ali Shah had won from this constituency in 2013. He has won this constituency on PML-N and PML-Q tickets while late Asad Murtaza Gilani, a nephew of Yousuf Raza, had won from here on PPP (Rao Sikandar Group’s) ticket, Nawab Liaqat on PPP ticket.
This constituency is consisted of 25 rural union councils of Shujabad tehsil bordering with Multan and Jalalpur Pirwala. These UCs include Muzaffarbad, Khokhran, Sher Shah, Sikandarabad, Shahpur, Gajju Hatta, Basti Mithu, Raja Ram, Kotli Nijabat, Rasoolpur, Matotli, Chak Arrain and Qasba Marral. Different clans like Arrains constitute 20 percent of total population of this constituency, Balochs 20 percent, Hammar 12 percent, Rao and other Urdu-speaking residents 25 percent.
Once good friends, they never knew politics would pit them against each other one day. Today Yousuf Raza Gilani and Javed Ali Shah are contesting election as rival candidates on PPP and PML-N tickets respectively. Javed Hashmi also wanted to contest election from this constituency. He had submitted his nomination papers but the party did not issue ticket to him. He withdrew from here too. The PTI has issued ticket to former MPA Ibrahim Khan.
A total of seven candidates are in the run from this constituency out of which three are independent and one each from PML-N, PPP, PTI and Pakistan Saraiki Party. The ECP has set up 298 polling stations for 436,391 voters.
NA-159 Multan-VI
Instead of party politics, the residents of this constituency believe in the politics of groups and personalities. Landlord families like Dewans, Noons, Laangs and Shahs lead the political course. Other important families and clans include Khakhi, Langah, Kanhu, Ghallu and Baloch. Keeping forth their personal interests, the members of these families constitute their own panels and contest elections. Political parties have no other option than to respect their demands.
PTI candidate Rana Qasim Noon is a big example. He switched over from PML-Q to PPP, then joined PML-N, became MNA, quit PML-N, formed Janoobi Punjab Sooba Mahaaz, merged it in PTI and now going to contest election from the platform of PTI.
PML-N has granted ticket to Dewan Zulqarnain Bokhari, who is son of disqualified MNA Dewan Ashiq Bokhari and brother of Chairman District Council Dewan Abbas Bokhari. A total of 14 candidates are in the run from this constituency out of which 10 are independent. This constituency is consisted of 36 union councils of Jalalpur Pirwala and Shujabad. The ECP has set up 300 polling stations for 413,257 voters in this constituency.



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South Punjab News : Multani politics moves around the Makhdooms,Dogars,and new entrants
Multani politics moves around the Makhdooms,Dogars,and new entrants
In 2013, Javed Hashmi of the PTI defeated Sheikh Mohammad Tariq Rasheed of PML-N (old NA-149). After leaving PTI in 2014, Javed Hashmi re-joined PML-N in December 2017.
South Punjab News
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