—-Not a single candidate from the main political parties hails from the constituency
LAHORE: All the candidates hailing from the mainstream political parties which are contesting the by-election of NA-120, are outsiders as none of them currently resides in the constituency, Pakistan Today has observed.
According to the details, Kalsoom Nawaz of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Dr Yasmin Rashid of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Faisal Mir of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Muhammad Yaqoob Sheikh backed by Milli Muslim League (MML) and Zia-ud-Din Ansari of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) are outsiders as none of them currently live in the constituency of NA-120.
According to their nomination papers filed in the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and available with Pakistan Today, PML-N’s Kalsoom Nawaz has mentioned her residence as being at Model Town while Dr Yasmin Rashid of PTI lives in Johar Town area these days. Moreover, Zia-ud-Din Ansari of JI lives in Brandreth Road while Faisal Mir of PPP and Sheikh Yaqoob of MML have mentioned their residences to be at Faisal Town and Johar Town respectively; areas which do not fall in the constituency of NA-120.
Kashif, a resident of the constituency from Karishna Nagar area, said that these politicians do not visit the constituency after winning the election whether they live here or not. “It is really unfortunate that not a single candidate from all the mainstream parties hails from the constituency; how can one expect them that to visit us after the polling day?” he questioned.
Ali Naveed Bhatti, Joint Secretary of PTI central Punjab and resident of Union Council (UC-65 Islampura), told Pakistan Today that a candidate cannot understand the problems of the constituency ranging from sewerage to all the civic issues if he or she is an outsider. “The candidate of PML-N Kalsoom Nawaz is not even in Pakistan as she left the country ahead of the polling day,” Bhatti said, while adding that although Dr Yasmin is not currently living in the constituency, she spent her whole life here as her ancestral house was here at Temple Road which is the main political hub of NA-120. Most of the PTI supporters also claim that Dr Yasmin has served at Ganga Ram and Lady Wallington hospitals during her medical career and these two major public sector hospitals fall in the constituency of NA-120; therefore she can rightly understand the problems faced by the voters of the area.
Malik Nasim, Vice Chairman of PML-N from UC-61 (Old Anarkali), told this scribe that it is necessary for a candidate to have deep roots in that area in the local government elections but it is not mandatory at the national or provincial election. However, he said that it would be better for both the voters and candidate if the candidate contesting the election hails from the same constituency. Another PML-N diehard supporter Zulfiqar Durani from Mozang area said that it is wrong to say that Kalsoom Nawaz does not hail from the constituency as she once used to live at ‘Baraf Khana Chowk’ near Gowalmandi which falls in NA-120.
It is worth mentioning here that only 7 out of 44 total candidates currently live in the constituency and they are all independent candidates. The polling is scheduled for September 17 where 321,786 voters can use their right to vote.