MUZAFFARABAD: Campaigning for general election in Azad Jammu and Kashmir is in full swing and top politicians are mobilising public support for their candidates. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and Minister for AJK & Gilgit-Baltistan Ali Amin Gandapur are actively campaigning.
Prime Minister Imran Khan is all set to join the electioneering process which would further intensify the political temperature.
Elections in AJK are contested mainly with support of beraderi (clan) system as AJK population is dominated by Jaats, Gujjars, Rajas, Syeds, Abbasis, Sudhans, Afridis, Sardars etc.
A tough battle is expected between Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), PPP and 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.
Pakistan Today carried out a survey of all the constituencies of AJK as per its traditions to keep its readers abreast over the developing situation and electioneering process. On Sunday, Pakistan Today presented trends from around 13 constituencies starting from LA-1 Mirpur-I to LA-13 Kotli-VI.
Now, we are covering LA-14 to LA-33 Muzaffarabad-VII – bringing a complete picture for our readers. Though there are always possibilities that political trends may change by July 25, but this survey would at least give a clue to our readers to understand the trends prevailing in across AJK.
The overview has revealed interesting facts. The ruling PML-N is facing a strong challenge from PTI and PPP. AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider is facing tough challenge from PTI and PPP candidates while the heavyweights of PTI including Tanvir Ilyas, Barrister Sultan Mehmood Chaudhry are also facing strong challenge to win elections.
Bagh district is traditional stronghold of Muslim Conference (MC) led by Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan. MC still holds power in Bagh and its candidates are leading in two out of three constituencies. But MC faces a challenge from PTI and PPP who may turn tables.
In LA-14 Bagh I, former prime minister Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan of MC is a favourite while PTI’s Maj (R) Lateef Khaleeq is trailing behind. PPP’s Khawar Qayyum and PML-N’s Raja Faisal Azad are also in the run.
In LA-15 Bagh-II, MC candidate Raja Yasin is leading so far. However, campaign for PTI’s Tanvir Ilyas is picking momentum and Ilyas may turn tables on Raja Yasin. Tanvir Ilyas is also a candidate for election of the prime minister AJK from PTI. The PPP has fielded Ziaul Qamar and PML-N has given ticket to former information and sports minister Mushtaq Minhas.
In LA-16 Bagh-III, a tough competition is expected between PTI’s Mir Akbar and former minister Qamar Zaman of the PPP. MC has fielded Javed Khalil Abbasi while PML-N has put in Ejaz Kathana.
In LA-17 Haveli Kahuta Bagh-IV, PPP has fielded Faisal Rathore who is leading for now. Rathore is challenged by PTI’s Amir Nazeer and PMLN’s Chaudhry Aziz. MC has fielded Adil Kiani.
In five constituencies of District Poonch, a tough battle is expected between PPP, PTI and Jammu and Kashmir People’s Party (JKPP) of late Sardar Khalid Ibrahim.
For LA-18 Poonch-I, PTI’s Qayyum Niazi is leading the race while PPP’s Amjad Yousaf and
PML-N’s Yaseen Gulshan are closely following him. MC has put in Asghar Afandi. A close three-way fight is expected.
For LA-19 Poonch-II, PPP Saud Sadiq is leading the race closely being followed by PTI’s Arzish Khan and PML-N’s Amir Altaf. MC’s Sardar Kamal is trailing far behind.
In LA-20, Poonch-III, PPP’s former president Sardar Yaqoob Khan is leading the race while PML-N’ Mian Rasheed is trailing far behind. MC has fielded Haroon Rasheed while PTI put in Khatab Azam.
LA-21, Poonch-IV is heartland of Jammu & Kashmir People’s Party (KJKPP) where its chief JKPP Hassan Ibrahim is leading the race. PTI’s Nayyer Ayub however can pull a surprise as he is capable of winning it. PPP’s Sardar Yaqoob Khan and PML-N’s Tahir Anwar are trailing behind. MC has fielded Azhar Nazar.
In LA-22 Poonch-V, another close contest in likely between JKPP’s Asad Ibrahim who is leading so far but PTI’s PTI Mrs Shahida Sagheer may also win as momentum is building fast. MC’s Tahir Akram, PPP’s Dilawar Bukhari and PML-N’s Khaliq Wasi are trailing. Shahida Sagheer is widow of Chaudhry Sagheer who was drowned in a river during election campaign recently. Hence, Shahida is riding a sympathy wave and may win the contest.
In LA-23 Sudhnuti-I, PML-N’s Najeeb Naqi is leading so far while PPP’s Muhammad Raees,
MC’s Abid Razzaq and PTI’s Sardar Hussain are trying to catch up with Naqi. Independent candidate Maulana Saeed Yousaf may pull off a surprise for the PM-N candidate.
In LA-24, Sudhnuti-II, PTI’s Faheem Akhtar Rabbani is leading the race while PML-N’s Farooq Tahir, MC’s Abrar Minhas and PPP’s Inayatullah Arif are trailing.
In LA-25 Neelum-I, PTI’s Sardar Gul-e-Khandan is leading with comfort while PML-N’s Shah Ghulam Qadir was in clear trouble. However, after Maryam’s recent visit to the valley, a little sigh of relief form former speaker. MC has fielded Commandar Shafique while the PPP has awarded ticket to Mian Abdul Waheed.
For LA-26 Neelum-II, PPP’s Mian Abdul Waheed is leading in a comfortable position while PML-N’s Raja Bashir Khan who got ticket as Shah Gulam Qadir withdrew because of weak position is trailing. PTI gave ticket to Raja Ilyas at last moment because of a high court decision. MC has fielded Syed Yasir Kazmi.
In LA-27 Muzaffarabad-I, PTI’s Mir Attique is leading the race while PPP’s Javed Ayub is trailing closely. The PML-N fielded Noreen Arif and MC awarded ticket to Saleem Awan.
For LA-28 Muzaffarabad-II, PTI’s Chaudhry Shahzad is leading the race while PPP’s Bazil Naqvi is trailing behind closely. The PML-N has fielded Murtaza Gillani.
For LA-29 Muzaffarabad-III, PTI’s Khwaja Farooq is in comfortable position to win the seat while PML-N’s Iftikhar Gillani is in second position. Independent candidate Mukhtar Abbasi is contesting for third position while MC’s Sajjad Abbasi and PPP’s Mubarak Haider are trailing.
In LA-30 Muzaffarabad-IV, PML-N’s Dr Mustafa Bashir is leading the race while PTI’s Muhammad Rasheed is closely trailing him. PPP’s Mubasher Munir Awan and MC’s Tasawwar Moosvi are also in the run.
For LA-31 Muzaffarabad-V, PPP’s Chaudhry Lateef Akbar is leadin while MC’s Raja Saqib Majeed is closely behind. PTI’s Raja Mansoor is at third and PML-N’s Raja Abrar Advocate are trailing far behind.
For LA-32 Muzaffarabad-VI, a neck-to-neck fight is expected between PML-N’s former prime minister Raja Farooq Haider and PPP’s Sahibzada Ishaq Zafar. Ishaq Zafar is leading the race at the moment. MC’s Raja Nadeem Tariq, PTI’s Syed Zeeshan Haider and Jamat-e-Islami’s Dr Raja Mushtaq are trailing behind.
In LA-33 Muzaffarabad-VII, PTI’s Deewan Ali Chughtai is leading in a comfortable position while PML-N’s Raja Farooq Haider is trailing far behind. MC’s Liaqat Awan and PPP’s Shoukat Javed Mir are also in the run.
Naila Altaf Kayani contributed to this report.