The UC consists of Wahdat Colony and Chenab, Neelum, Asif and Pak Blocks of Allama Iqbal Town
The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) candidates hope to sweep the Union Council (UC) 219 polls. The party had shown support in the constituency in the 2013 general elections winning both National and Provincial Assembly seats.
The UC consists of Wahdat Colony and Chenab, Neelum, Asif and Pak Blocks of Allama Iqbal Town.
The PTI has fielded fresh faces for chairman and vice chairman. The Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz-Nawaz (PMLN) is, however, relying on its veterans.
The PTI has awarded tickets for chairman and vice chairman to businessmen Faheem Iqbal Chaudhry and Asad Ayub Khan. The two leaders say that although they don’t have any electioneering experience, they strongly believe in the party’s slogan of change.
They say people do not want the status quo any longer. They say voters in the constituency have already given their mandate to the PTI electing MNA Shafqat Mahmood and MPA Mian Mahmoodur Rasheed in the general elections. Chaudhry says high crime rate, scarcity of safe drinking water and poor sanitation conditions were among the major problems faced by the residents of UC 219. “Low gas pressure during winters has also worried them over the last two years.”
The PML-N has fielded Tahir Sindhu, a businessman, for chairman and Chaudhry Ehsan Ahmad, a trade union leader, for vice chairman.
Sindhu, who was elected nazim in the constituency in 2001, said the PML-N men had done their best to address the problems faced by people. “Residents of Neelum Block, Allama Iqbal Town, have been demanding a tubewell and a water-filtration plant… another water-filtration plant is needed to be installed in the kachi abadi next to it.” Ahmad was elected a councillor in the 2001 and 2005 elections. He says he has the support of local religious leaders. Residents of the kachi abadi are supporting the PML-N as it has provided them the basic amenities of life, he says.
Ashraf, a resident of the area, says most of the roads in the area are broken, water supply pipes are decades old and cleanliness arrangements unsatisfactory.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 31st, 2015.