MQM-P, PTI consider new faces for NA-243 by-election

* PTI’s Aftab Siddiqui, Alamgir Khan, Ashraf Jabbar Qureshi and Laila Parveen have submitted their nomination papers to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for the by-election * Faisal Sabzwari likely to be MQM-P's candidate despite submission of nomination papers by two other candidates from the party

KARACHI: Two major parties Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf have both fielded fresh faces for NA-243 by-election.

Reportedly, PTI and MQM-P both did not ask their senior workers to file nomination papers for the constituency which was earlier won over by Imran Khan. However, the seat fell vacant when PM Khan chose to retain his seat in NA-95, Mianwali.

PTI’s Aftab Siddiqui, Alamgir Khan, Ashraf Jabbar Qureshi and Laila Parveen have submitted their nomination papers to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for the by-elections which will be held on October 14.

PTI leader Aftab Siddiqui ran the election campaign of Imran Khan for NA-243 in the 2018 general elections whereas PTI leader Alamgir Khan is the founder of “Fixit”, a campaign initiated by the social activist to resolve the metropolis’s problems by drawing attention to them.

On the other hand, MQM-P has also ditched its former contestant from NA-243 Ali Raza Abidi who stood second to Imran Khan with 24082 votes in the 2018 general elections. Sources within the party claim that Abidi was not considered because of his proximity to Farooq Sattar.

Instead, Mehfooz Yar Khan, Faisal Sabzwari and Amir Chishti have submitted their nomination papers to the ECP for consideration. Sources within the party revealed that Faisal Sabzwari has been finalised as the party’s candidate.

Mehfooz Yar Khan has sat in the provincial parliament from June 2016 to May 2018. He was voted into the Sindh assembly on MQM’s ticket in the June 2016 by polls. Faisal Sabzwari, on the other hand, was elected as a member of the Provincial Assembly of Sindh on the ticket of MQM in 2013 general elections. MQM’s third candidate, Amir Chishti contested from Karachi’s NA-256 in the 2018 general elections.

Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) has allowed Asif Hasnain, Muhammad Salman, Hassan Sabir and Muzamil Qureshi to contest in the by-election whereas Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)have not announced their candidates yet.

NA-243 (Karachi East-II) is a newly formed constituency comprising of the Gulshan-e-Iqbal subdivision and census charge 12 and 13 of Jamshed Quarters. The constituency was created in 2018 following delimitation from areas of old NA-252 and a section of Gulshan-e-Iqbal which was previously grouped under NA-253.

Published in Daily Times, September 2nd 2018.