ISLAMABAD: The major political parties of Pakistan have announced their candidates for the Senate elections scheduled for March 3. Majority of the seasoned politicians have made it to the final lists as the political leadership of the country did not gamble with too many new comers.
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), however, is contesting the polls with fresh faces.
Nomination papers for the polls will be submitted on February 12-13 while the scrutiny process will be held from February 16-17 and appeals will be heard from February 20-21.
Candidates for the elections will have till February 25 to withdraw their nomination papers.
Senate elections will be held on 11 seats each in Sindh and Punjab and 12 seats each in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Elections will also be held on four seats in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and two in Islamabad.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) announced that the party tickets for technocrat seat will be given to Raja Zafarul Haq while the ticket for ulema seat will be given to Allama Sajid Mir. Tickets for general seats will be given to Pervaiz Rashid, Mushahidullah Khan, Nehal Hashmi, Chaudhry Tanveer, Dr Asif Kirmani, Lt-General (retd) Abdul Qayum and Dr Ghous Niazi.
For women seats tickets have been given to Begum Najma Hamid and Kiran Dar.
Tickets for Islamabad have been given to Iqbal Zafar Jhagra while Dr Raheela Magsi has been given the ticket for the female seat from the capital.
From Khyber Pakhtunkha, tickets have been given to Salahuddin Tirmizi while Pir Sabir Shah will be his covering candidate. The ticket for Sindh has been given to Syed Zafar Ali Shah while Yaqoub Khan Nasir, Amir Afzal Khan Mandokhel, Mir Naimatullah Zehri will be candidates for the general seats in Balochistan.
The candidate for the technocrat seat in Balochistan will be Shahbaz Khan Durrani while his covering candidate is Ayaz Khan Swati. Ticket for the minority seat in Balochistan has been given to Danesh Kumar while Kulsum Parveen has been given the ticket for the female seat.
The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has nominated Farooq H. Naek for the technocrat seat from Sindh. Candidates for the general seats in Sindh will be Rehman Malik, Islamuddin Sheikh, Saleem Mandviwalla, Gyan Chand, Abdul Latif Ansari and Sassui Palijo.
Noor Alam Khan and Khanzada Khan will contest the elections from Khyber Pakhutunkhwa, while Nadeem Afzal will be the party’s candidate from Punjab.
Three senators of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) have completed their terms for the Upper House this year. The senators include Babar Ghauri, Abdul Haseeb Khan, and Sher Ali Mulk.
This time around, the MQM is contesting Senate elections with fresh faces.
For the Senate elections in the Sindh Assembly, the MQM has chosen its Punjab chapter president Mian Atiq and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chapter president Barrister Saif. Nighat Khatoon and Raza Zaidi are also among the contestants.
Senior leader Babar Ghauri, who has held the Senate seat for a long time, will not be given a ticket this year. MQM has 54 seats in the Sindh Assembly. According to sources, MQM is likely to gain four Senate seats after reconciliation with the PPP.
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) leader Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri will contest the Senate election on the general seat from Balochistan. Meanwhile, Maulana Nooruddin will be his covering candidate.
Malik Sikander will contest the elections on the technocrat seat from Balochistan, while Hafiz Hussain Ahmed will be his cover.
Hamin Das will contest on the minorities seat, while Nasreen Kethran will contest on the women’s reserved seat.
Maulana Gul Naseeb will contest the poll from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa general seat, while Maulana Shujaul Mulk will be the JUI-F candidate on the technocrat seat.