Triumph of hope and resilience
Triumph of hope and resilience
By Ahad Khan
The trumpeted general election in Pakistan are over and results from the length and breadth of the country continue to trickle in.
Barring few places, the contestants in most constituencies are at variance about the outcome and pledge to slug it out at all possible fora. After all, the stakes are high in what can be described as the ‘fate-changing’ event of the country.
The success trajectory of independent candidates, especially those backed by the embattled PTI, comes as a surprise for the voters.
One can look at the election from various angles but the most heartening aspect is the public enthusiasm, which can be borne out by high turnout, and the level of commitment and resilience some of the aspirants showed. Those who campaigned and contested on the proverbial sticky wicket actually “fought till the last ball”.
Let’s have a glimpse of the results of some of these candidates – something which instils hope among the masses and restores their confidence in the political system.
Take the example of iron-willed former Punjab health minister Dr Yasmin Rashid who, as expected, gave PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif a run for his ‘votes’ in NA-130 Lahore. Although Nawaz Sharif has won by taking 171,024 votes, Dr Rashid chipped in with 115,043 votes despite being incarcerated and reports of ill health.
Nawaz Sharif, again contrary to expectations, has been defeated in his second home, NA-15 Mansehra where he has faced drubbing by a lesser known but locally active PTI-backed candidate, Gastasab Khan, who bagged 105,249 votes. Sharif could get 80,382 votes.
Aliya Hamza, another PTI-backed lady from NA-118 Lahore, sprang a surprise by taking 100,803 votes against an astute political operator, Hamza Shehbaz, who managed to win by a slim margin of almost 5,000 votes.
Hamza bagged 105,960 votes but Aliya’s supporters see a clear moral victory for her amid a sea of challenges.
Sardar Latif Khosa
Sardar Latif Khosa, a seasoned lawyer who joined the PTI just a few months back, has come up as a classic case of triumph of hope and resilience.
Khosa seems to have never aspired to become an MNA in his political career, yet he romped home against firebrand PML-N leader Saad Rafique who is very well connected with locals in his constituency.
His elders' decades-long political affiliation in NA-122 couldn't win him the seat this time round.
Septuagenarian Rehana Dar from Sialkot deserves credit for fighting tooth and nail against PML-N's Khwaja Asif who eventually won the contest. She lost to the PML-N veteran politician but showed grit at an advanced age.
Salman Akram Raja
The erudite Salman Akram Raja, one of the finest legal brains of the country, contested in Lahore’s key NA-128 constituency. Initially, he emerged as a clear winner but his rival Awn Chaudhry, a candidate of the Istehkam-e-Pakistan party supported by the House of Sharifs, was declared victorious according to unofficial results.
Raja contested the outcome and immediately challenged the ‘anomalies’ in the Lahore High Court (LHC) which has now stopped results of the constituency.
What goes beyond the shadow of doubt is the public support for him. The PTI remained successful in the constituency in 2013 and 2018.
Barrister Gohar Ali Khan
PTI’s moving spirit Barrister Gohar Ali Khan has won with a heavy majority in his native constituency of Buner (NA-10). The road to his success remained paved with obstacles.
Dr Nisar Jutt
The story can’t be complete without Jutt’s mention as he defeated Rana Sanaullah in his hometown Faisalabad. It was one of the seats where the PML-N seemed to have a clear edge but Dr Nisar Jutt sprang a surprise.
Jamal Ahsan Khan
Jamal Ahsan Khan, the covering candidate for PTI founder in his native NA-89 constituency, has clinched 217,427 votes – the highest number of votes any candidate has got all over the country. He has won by a massive margin of 183,359 votes.
Mian Muhammad Azhar
Octogenarian Mian Azhar, who appeared as the covering candidate for his son Hammad Azhar, mounted a rearguard action against odds and emerged successful in NA-129.
The wife of incarcerated Parvez Elahi, who once ruled Punjab and remained the deputy prime minister, contested in Gujrat’s NA-64 and lost to her nephew Salik Hussain but still showed a great deal of vigour.