Multan

Despite the fact that both the PML-N and PTI have not fielded their candidates for the by-election  to NA-149 while the PPP has given ticket to a relatively weak aspirant, yet massive political activity is taking place in this urban constituency of Multan.

The picture has got quite clear as both the arch rivals in prevailing political scenario —- the PML-N and PTI — are lining up their forces and the political analysts predict that the real match will be between two independent candidates Makhdoom Javed Hashmi and Aamir Dogar. Although the PPP candidate Dr Javed Siddiqu, who has been an MPA from PP-197 in the past, is also running his campaign, the situation indicates that his chances are bleak.

Meanwhile, PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi has formally announced that his party would support an independent candidate Malik Aamir Dogar, who contested last election on PPPP ticket. On the other side, the PML-N stands with Makhdoom Javed Hashmi and entire local leadership has launched Hashmi’s election campaign.

The efforts being made by PTI Vice Chairman Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi in Multan are bearing fruit as a number of independent candidates like Dr Khalid Khakwani, Tariq Naem Ullah, Nadem Qureshi, Ijaz Janjua, Malik Liaqat Dogar, Malik Fakhir and Shahid Mehmood withdrew their nomination papers in favour of Aamir Dogar. Similarly, a close aide to former Prime Minister Gilani from Multan Cantonment area, Khan Muhammad Khani, also joined PTI and announced to run Aamir Dogar’s campaign.

In a recent development, the PML-N leader Hamza Shahbaz Shahrif directed the local leadership of his party in Multan to fully support Javed Hashmi. PML-N sources said that the local leadership of the party also held a meeting following party instructions and decided to support Hashmi wholeheartedly. A number of aspirants for PML-N ticket as well as independent candidates like Aon Abbas Bappi, Sarwat Khan, Tehreem Babar, Asif Anwar, Nadir Nawaz and Tufail Ishaq surrendered their candidature in favour of Hashmi.