Hafeez Shaikh, Sania Nishtar among candidates picked by PTI for Senate polls

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ISLAMABAD – The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has picked most of its candidate for the upcoming Senate election amid charged political situation in the country, announced Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry on Friday.

The science minister took to Twitter to reveal the names that include Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, who will be a candidate from Islamabad.

For Shaikh, winning the polls is crucial to continue as the finance minister, a portfolio assigned to him in December last year. As he is an unelected person, he can serve in this capacity only for six months under Article 91 (9) of the Constitution. In order to retain the post, he is required to get elected to one of the houses.

Here is the list of the nominees finalized so far, and the seats they will be contesting for;

Faisal Vawda for Sindh seat

Abdul Hafeez Shaikh for Islamabad

Fauzia Arshad for Islamabad

Sania Nishtar for KP

Shibli Faraz for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Saifullah Niazi for Punjab

Dr Zarqa for Punjab

Abdul Qadir for Balochostan

Barrister Ali Zafar for Punjab

Mohsin Azeez for KP

Dost Mohammad for KP

Saifullah Abro for technocrat

Farzana for KP

Fawad Chaudhry said that the names of other candidates will be announced later.

The Election Commission of Pakistan has announced that polls for the upper house of the parliament will be held on March 3.

Candidates have been asked to submit their nomination papers with the returning officer between February 12-13.

The government and opposition parties are currently at odds over holding election through open ballot as latter have challenged the reference send by the ruling party to the Supreme Court seeking its opinion on the matter.

President Arif Alvi has also issued an ordinance for amending the Election Act 2017 in order to hold the Senate elections through open vote. However, the ordinance is subject to the decision of the apex court.