- Haq says he’s likely to contest from NA-117.
- PTI has never won from this constituency.
- He has begun campaigning for polls alongside provincial ticket-holders.
LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf’s (PTI) leader and renowned singer Abrar ul Haq will be fielded by the party in Lahore’s Shahdara area, while his brother Major (retd) Israr ul Haq will be put up against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Ahsan Iqbal in Narowal.
The singer-cum-politician has already begun his election campaign and is addressing rallies along with two ticket-holders for the provincial assembly under NA-117, Lahore 1.
This seat, ever since PTI contested elections here in 1997, has never been won by the party’s fielded candidates. The constituency has always been claimed by PML-N or its allies, except for the years 1970 and 1977 when Pakistan Peoples Party’s SM Masood and Sher Muhammad Bhatti won.
The constituency covers areas including the entire Shahdara and the population living close to the Ravi bed and the entire Badami Bagh, Siddiqia Colony, etc.
The party, led by Chairman Imran Khan, has decided to field Haq from this seat and with the consent of the party’s high command, he has also kick-started his campaign here.
Even if the elections for the NA and provinces are held after three to four months, a good fight is expected this time between the PML-N and PTI.
When contacted, Haq told The News that he was likely to contest from NA-117, Lahore; whereas his brother might get fielded from Narowal. In 2013 and 2018, Haq had contested two NA polls from Narowal but both times, PML-N’s Ahsan Iqbal bagged victory.
Electoral history of NA-117
In 1985, in the non-party basis elections, Pir Muhammad Ashraf won from here while defeating Khawaja Tariq Rahim. In 1988, Pakistan Awami Ittehad’s (PAI) General (retd) MH Ansari won this seat against PPP’s Sheikh Rafique. Islami Jamhuri Ittehad (IJI) or its main component Muslim League had not fielded any candidate which benefitted General Ansari. In 1990’s general elections, it was IJI’s Humayun Akhtar Khan who won from here with a significant lead against PPP’s Sheikh Rafique.
In the 1993 elections, PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif contested from this constituency and won comfortably against PPP’s Haji Aziz ur Rehman Chan. In the 1993 by-polls, it was Nawaz’s brother Abbas Sharif who won after a close fight with a PPP candidate.
In 1997, PML-N fielded Mian Azhar on this seat which he won with a big margin against Pakistan Muslim League-Junejo’s (PML-J) Mian Ahmed Mehmood. Between 1988 to 1997, this constituency was NA-92.
In the 2002 elections, Hafiz Salman Butt, a candidate of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) backed by PML-N won defeating the then Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid’s (PML-Q) head Mian Azhar.
Butt contested the polls as an independent candidate as Muttahida Majlis–e–Amal (MMA) had also fielded its candidate Hafiz Abdul Wadood Shahid.
The constituency by then had become NA-118.
In the 2008 elections, former PML-N MPA Malik Riaz was fielded from this area and won by a big margin. In the 2013 and 2018 polls, PML-N’s Riaz once again claimed victory, but PTI candidates were in the second spot.