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ISLAMABAD: Some 170 nominations for Senate elections were submitted to Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), till Monday evening. The extended deadline for filing nominations has now expired.

According to the data issued by the ECP, 10 nominations were submitted for two seats of Islamabad; one General and one women. Six nominations were submitted for the general seat and four for the women seat.

Finance Minister Hafeez Sheikh from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gillani from Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Tariq Fazal Chaudhry from Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) are the prominent candidates who have filed nominations for the General seat from Islamabad.

In Punjab, 29 nominations were filed for 11 seats; 21 nominations for seven General seats, five nominations for two women seats and three nominations for two technocrats/Ulema seats.

Kamil Ali Agha from Pakistan Muslim League Quaid (PML-Q), Mushahid Ullah Khan, Pervaiz Rashid, Saif-ul-Malook Khokhar, Sajid Mir and Zahid Hamid from PML-N, and Saifullah Nyazee, Aon Abbas Buppi, Omar Cheema and Ejaz Chaudhry from PTI are prominent candidates who submitted nominations for General seats. Sadia Abbasi and Saira Tarar from PML-N are among candidates who submitted nominations for Women seats while PTI’s Ali Zafar and PML-N’s Azam Tarar are among candidates who have submitted nominations for Technocrats/Ulema seats.

In Sindh, 39 submissions were filed for 11 seats; 19 for seven General seats, nine for two Women seats and 11 for two Technocrats/Ulema seats. Deputy Chairman Senate Saleem Mandviwalla, Sherry Rehman and Taj Haider from PPP, Amir Khan, Sohail Mansoor Khawaja and Faisal Sabzwari from Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P), Pir Sadruddin Shah Rashidi from Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) and Federal Water Resources Minister Faisal Vawda from PTI are among prominent candidates who filed submissions for General seats. PPP’s Palwasha Khan is among the nominees on Women seat. Farooq Naek from PPP, Rauf Siddiqui from MQM-P and Hunaid Lakhani from PTI are among nominees for Technocrats/Ulema seats.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 51 nominations were submitted for 12 seats; 22 nominations for seven General seats, 13 nominations for two Women seats, 11 nominations for two Technocrats/Ulema seats and five nominations for one Non-Muslims seat. Federal Information Minister Shibli Faraz, Mohsin Aziz, Liaqat Tarakai and Zeeshan Khanzada from PTI, Atta-ur-Rehman from Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazal (JUI-F), Farhatullah Babar from PPP are among nominees for General seats. Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar and JUI-F’s Naeema Kishwar are among nominees for Women seats. Farhatullah Babar is also a nominee for Technocrats/Ulema seats for which Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif has also filed submission as Independent candidate. PTI’s Gurdeep Singh and Araish Kumar are among nominees for the Non-Muslim seat from KP.

In Balochistan, 41 nominations were submitted for 12 seats; 19 for seven General seats, nine for two Women seats, eight for two Technocrats/Ulema seats and five for a Non-Muslims seat. Sarfraz Bugti, Sitara Ayaz and Manzoor Kakar from Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), Abdul Qadir and Syed Zahoor Ahmed from PTI, Abdul Ghafoor Haideri from JUI-F, Israrullah Zehri from Balochistan National Party (BNP Awami), Usman Kakar from Pakhtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PKMAP) are among the nominees for General seats. Asiya Nasir from JUI-F is among contestants for Women seats. Manzoor Kakar is also a contestant for Technocrats/Ulema seats for which Kamran Murtaza from JUI-F is also a contestant. Khalil from BAP is among the nominees for the Non-Muslims seat from Balochistan.

Earlier on Saturday, ECP revised Senate elections’ schedule and extended till February 15 the date for submission of nomination papers for the polls.

Some 52 senators are retiring but elections would be held on 48 seats and four Senate seats would stand abolished with effect from upcoming Senate polls. Following FATA’s merger into KP, four erstwhile FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas) seats would be abolished in upcoming elections following the retirement of the four senators while as many seats would be abolished in Senate elections scheduled in 2024 following the scheduled retirement of the remaining four senators elected on erstwhile FATA seats.

Senate polls would be held on 12 seats each of KP and Balochistan, 11 seats each of Punjab and Sindh and two seats of Islamabad.

In each province, the elections would be held on seven General seats, two Women seats and two Technocrats/Ulema seats. In KP and Balochistan, elections would be held on one seat each for non-Muslims. Elections on the remaining two Non-Muslims seats; one each of Punjab and Sindh, are scheduled in 2024. In 104-seat Senate, each province has 23 seats—14 General seats, four Women seats, four Technocrats/Ulema seats and one Non-Muslim seat. Erstwhile FATA has eight General seats and Islamabad has four seats—two General and two Women.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021