Stage set for by-election showdown in Multan

MULTAN: The by-election for National Assembly constituency NA-149, which many see as a contest between senior politician Javed Hashmi and PTI backed independent candidate Malik Amir Dogar will be held on Thursday.

Javed Hashmi, who recently parted ways with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, enjoys a low key support from the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz while Mr Dogar is being openly supported by the Imran Khan-led party in Multan.

The contest is being seen as a direct fight between two rivals Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Vice Chairman PTI, and Javed Hashmi, former president of the PTI.

Hashmi had to face severe criticism on Wednesday when a helicopter dropped pamphlets favoring Hashmi in Multan, hours after the expiry of ECP’s deadline for election campaign.

Experts say the PTI is taking the by-election as do or die fight as Hashmi’s revolt amidst the Islamabad sit-in had dealt a blow to its campaign aimed at overthrowing Nawaz Sharif government in the center.