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Dynastic role decisive in NA-73 contest.

SIALKOT -- The local dynasties play a key role in the Sialkot city's politics especially in NA-73, SIALKOT: II where both the main contestants - PML-N's Khawja Asif and PTI's Usman Dar - belong to Kashmir family.

As they belong to the Kashmiri clan, their votes are divided in Sialkot city. The Kashmiri, Gujjar, Mughal and Araeen families are in majority in the constituency. Khawaja Asif and Usman Dar have taken candidates belonging to the Araeen and Gujjar families in PP-36 and PP-37 to get the support of all the Biradaries in Sialkot city.

The PPP has also fielded Zarar Mehmood Malik as its candidate in the election race in this constituency. SIALKOT: based exporter Imran Ashraf is also contesting the poll as an independent candidate. He belongs to the Mughal Biradari and claims to have the complete support of Kashmiri, Gujjar and Araeen clans too.

Khawaja Asif and Usman Dar could lose the votes of the Mughal Biradari in July 25,2018 general elections. The Gujjars are supporting Khawaja Asif due to the mounted political influence of the Variyo family.

Former MPA Imran Ashraf is stated to be a strong independent candidate and is in a position to divide the votes of PML-N and PTI in Sialkot city. He could give tough time to both Khawaja Asif and Usman Dar in Sialkot city. In Sialkot, all the eyes are on the main election contest in Sialkot district being held among PML-N, PTI and eight other candidates including four independents in NA-73.

The PML-N's bigwig is five-time winner. The election results would leave impacts on the future politics of Sialkot district. The winner of NA-73 seat will also be able to rule the future politics of Sialkot.

Besides Khawaja Asif and Usman Dar, eight other candidate are also contesting the NA-73 contest including Zarar Mehmood Malik (PPP), Jehangir Rasheed (Pakistan Sunni Tehreek), Ch Muhammad Sarwar (MQM-Pakistan), Rana Naeem Javaid (Tehreek Labaik Pakistan) and four independent candidates Imran Ashraf, Arif Mehmood, Muhammad Asif and Imran Dar.

However, a neck and neck contest is expected among Khawaja Asif, Usman Dar and Imran Ashraf today. The candidates of both Tehreek Labaik Pakistan (TLP) and Pakistan Sunni Tehreek (PST) are likely to get considerable votes. Due to which, the winning candidate here will not get any big lead.

There are a total of 488393 voters in NA-73. In 2013 general elections, Khawaja Asif had won after getting 92803 votes against his very close rival Usman Dar who got 71525 votes. JI's Arshad Mehmood Baggu remained on third position by getting 6361 votes while PPP's Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan could get only 2195 votes from the constituency.

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Publication:The Nation (Karachi, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Jul 25, 2018
Words:493
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