Awais Bashir Khan, PML-N’s candidate for chairman, is contesting the election for the first time
“Local government elections provide people with an opportunity to look beyond party affiliations and use their judgement in discerning who has served the community in the past,” Abdul Wadud, a resident of Union Council 65, Islampura, says. “Most of us will vote for who, we feel, is the better person.”
On the key problems in his area, Wadud says electricity wires hanging low in the area are of key concern. There are no street lights so street crime is another major problem, he says.
“Our area was developed ages ago and its sewage pipes need to be replaced, “Sufi Iftikhar, another resident of the area, says. Iftikhar says he is an old Pakistan Peoples Party supporter and would cast his vote against the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz. “Our party has lost its leadership but earlier they were quite a strong hold in our area,” he says.
Awais Bashir Khan, PML-N’s candidate for chairman, is contesting the election for the first time. However, party supporters have reposed faith in his leadership saying that Awais Bashir’s father Bashir Ahmed Khan had served as a councillor in the area. “His father has always been associated with the PML-N,” Hafiz Naseem, a party worker, says.
The PML-N’s candidate for vice chairman, Malik Muhammad Nazir, is affiliated with the Jamati Islami but is contesting from the PML-N panel. He was previously deputy nazim in the union council.
Awais Bashir says he is aware of the problems in the area. “I know there are various issues regarding water supply and I am committed to solving this problem,” he says. He says he is expecting fierce competition from all parties. “I do not take rivals lightly.”
Naseem says the PTI did not choose its candidates wisely.
Ali Naveed Bhatti, the PTI candidate for chairman, says availability of drinking water was a huge problem in the area. “A lot of people have installed private filtration plants and are selling water.”
Bhatti says the PML-N’s leadership has failed its supporters. “This area might be part of Nawaz Sharif’s constituency but we have support here because people know that the Sharif-led government has not worked for them.”
Published in The Express Tribune, October 23rd, 2015.