Support from Pir of Golra to benefit PTI in NA-54


ISLAMABAD: In Islamabad’s NA-54 constituency, the support of custodian of Golra Sharif shrine, which is critical for any candidate to win the election, will boost Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) chances of bagging the seat in the federal capital as the Pir of Golra has announced his support for the PTI, which also has the backing of many educated voters and youth in the constituency.

Though the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) has fielded a strong candidate and a resident of the area, Mian Aslam, in NA-54, the support of the Pir of Golra Sharif, Pir Nizamuddin Jami, who has a large number of followers in the area, is likely to benefit the PTI.

In May 2018, the spiritual leader of Golra Sharif, after a detailed meeting with PTI Chairman Imran Khan, had announced support to the party in the upcoming polls, adding that their devotees would vote for PTI.

“We, the devotees of Golra Sharif, will support PTI’s candidate Asad Umar in NA 54,” said a resident of the area while talking to Pakistan Today.

Apart from the support of the spiritual leader at Golra, various residents of the area believe that a large number of literate voters, especially the youth, may support the PTI again which had secured the seat in last general election as well.

The real competition in this constituency is likely to be between Asad Umar and Anjum Aqeel, who is the candidate of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N). Anjum Aqeel, however, is being probed in NAB cases and his party is marred with differences.

Among others, Mian Aslam of MMA has a good influence in the constituency and he is believed to secure considerable votes. Sources estimate that MMA may secure 20,000 to 25,000 votes in the constituency mainly because of Mian Aslam’s personal influence.

Raja Imran Ashraf of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and independent candidate Zubair Farooq are considered the next potential candidates. However, Raja Imran, the brother of former prime minister Raja Parvez Ashraf, has a weak position and lacks considerable support in the constituency.

Zubair Farooq, a former leader of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) in the constituency, as an independent candidate, is interestingly opposing the MMA in the area despite his party’s alliance with the latter. He reportedly has serious differences with Mian Aslam of MMA and is expected to bag over 5,000 votes in NA 54.

According to political observers, PML-N, as compared to remaining two constituencies of Islamabad including NA-52 and NA-53, has a weak position in NA-54 due to party differences and controversial image of Anjum Aqeel.

As per the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), in NA-54, the commission has set up 216 polling stations with 754 polling booths where a total of 218,795 registered voters can cast the ballot.

This constituency includes western parts of the city comprising eight rural and six urban union councils and the localities such as Sarai Kharbooza, Budhana Khurd, Jhangi Syedan, Noon, Mera Akku, Mera Jaafer, Tarnol, Sangjani and Shah Allah Ditta. The sectors falling in NA-54 include I-10, H-10, G-10, G-11, F-8, F-9, E-7, E-8, E-9, E-10, F-11 and G-11 up to I-16, H-16, G-16, F-16, E-16 and sector D-16.

As ECP’s latest data, a total of 76 candidates would contest for three National Assembly seats of Islamabad in the upcoming general election. The highest number of contestants (36) will face off against each other from NA-53.