The Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf candidate in Union Council No 68 – one of the two UCs that were formerly UC-79 in Mozang – is among the group led by former MPA Ajasim Sharif. The group recently left the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) and joined the PTI.
Muhammad Nadeem says it is his first local government election. His panel for ward councillors in the UC includes two women candidates.
He says he had left the PML-N because it failed to attend to the needs of Mozang residents. The sanitation system is in poor shape. A number of people complain about the rising incidence of water-borne diseases in the area,” he says. “An open sewer runs through the UC. Foul smell from the sewer makes it impossible to spend time outside your house,” he says.
He says if elected he will work for overhaul of the sewerage system and installation of water filtration plants and streetlights.
PML-N candidate Shahbaz Haider has pinned his hopes on continuity of past trends. “This UC is our [PML-N] fortress. All I need to do is reach out to the people and solicit votes for Mian Nawaz Sharif Sahib,” he says.
Haider says he had contested the deputy nazim seat in 2005 as an independent candidate. He had lost then.
Asked about municipal issues in the area, he says there is no major concern. He says development works carried out in the area recently include installation of streetlights and a water filtration plant.
Voters count poor sewerage system, lack of sanitation and clean drinking water among major problems. Majority of the voters in the UC belong to Bhatti or Arain beraderi. None of the two main contenders, however, identify themselves with any biraderi. They say biraderis are no longer a factor in electoral politics in the area. Instead, they say, performance and commitment count.
Areas included in the UC are Fane Road, Mubarakpura, Safanwala Chowk, Main Mozang Bazaar, Janazgah, Qureshi Mohalla and some areas along Noor Shah Road and Murad Shah Road.
The provincial assembly seat that includes the UC was won in 2013 by PML-N’s Majid Zahoor. He is currently a member of the Zakat and Ushr parliamentary committee.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 21st, 2015.