0.765m voters to elect candidates for Islamabad’s three NA constituencies

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Shahid Khaqan to face Imran Khan, Anjum Aqil to contest against Asad Umar

Zubair Qureshi

Election Commission of Pakistan on Saturday issued list of 76 candidates contesting from the Federal Capital’s three constituencies, namely, NA-52, 53 and 54. Pakistan Muslim League too, on Saturday, finalized names of the ticket holders who would face their arch rivals from these constituencies. Two most important names in NA-53 are PML-N’s former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi who is facing none other than PTI’s chairman Imran Khan.
As per details, in NA-52, 12 candidates are in the field. PML-N’s Tariq Fazal Chaudhry and PTI’s Raja Khurram Nawaz are considered strong candidates from this constituency. In NA-52, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has awarded ticket to Afzal Khokar, uncle of Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokar, who was the Naib Nazim of the Rawalpindi district in the local government system introduced by Gen Pervez Musharraf.
From NA-53, as many as 36 candidates are contesting elections, the highest number of candidates in this election for a National Assembly constituency. Besides Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Imran Khan Niazi of PTI, All Pakistan Muslim League’s Dr Muhammad Amjad is also a candidate from this constituency with election symbol Eagle. A little known PPP’s Syed Sibtul Haider, the brother of former Senate chairman Syed Nayyar Bukhari is also a candidate from this constituency. PTI-Gulalai’s Chief Ayesha Gulalai, PML-N’s disgruntled leader Syed Zafar Ali Shah and MMA’s Mian Muhammad Aslam are also vying NA seat from this constituency.
From NA-54, twenty-eight candidates are contesting polls. Prominent among them are PML-N’s ticket holder and former MNA (2008-2013) Anjum Aqeel Khan, PTI’s Asad Umar who was elected from Islamabad’s same constituency though it was called then NA-48, former Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf’s younger brother Raja Imran Ashraf on PPP ticket and another PML-N disgruntled candidate Hafeezur Rehman Tipu.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) a day earlier issued the polling scheme of all three constituencies namely NA-52, NA-53 and NA-54 of Islamabad and finalized the number of polling stations, polling booths and their location.
With a total population of 2.2 million, Islamabad has a total number of 7,65,348 registered voters in its three constituencies, including both rural and urban areas. NA-52, a predominantly rural constituency has a total number of 231,256 registered voters and will have 245 polling stations and 835 polling booths. NA-53 with 311,529 registered voters has the largest number of voters in Islamabad and will have 325 polling stations and 1104 polling booths. NA-54, the most urban constituency of the three is also the smallest constituency and has 218,697 registered voters. This constituency will have 216 polling stations and 754 polling.
With the caretaker setup in place, the general elections are less than a month away and political temperature reaching feverish heights, the residents, however, remain largely aloof from the election flurry as despite the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) finalising their candidates and PML-N choosing Anjum Aqeel Khan from NA-54, Tariq Fazal Chaudhary from NA-52 and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi from NA-53 who was cleared to contest the election by the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday.

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