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Prominent Figures Withdraw from Pakistan’s 2024 Election Contest

Discover why over 70 former members of the National Assembly in Pakistan, including prominent politicians and two ex-prime ministers, have decided not to run in the upcoming general election. Uncover their reasons and insights into the current political landscape.

Prominent Figures Withdraw from Pakistan's 2024 Election Contest

Over 70 former members of the National Assembly in Pakistan have decided not to participate in the next general election set for February 2024. This includes important politicians, like two former prime ministers. The Hum Investigation Team spoke to some of these ex-lawmakers to understand why they’re not running. Many mentioned their dissatisfaction with the current political situation and the lack of meaningful changes.

One ex-MNA (Member of National Assembly), Mohsin Khan Leghari, from the PTI party, said he’s upset about the ongoing “political games” in the country and chose not to file his nomination papers. Khusro Bakhtiar, another ex-PTI MNA, also decided not to join the contest. Asfandyar Wali Khan, the president of ANP and a seasoned politician, won’t participate due to health problems; instead, his son will run as the candidate from his home constituency.

Ghaus Bux Mehar, a former PPP MNA who won five times before, wants to step back from politics and give a chance to the younger generation. His son will run for his seat from Shikarpur. Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, a former prime minister and leader of PML-Q, won’t participate due to illness. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, another ex-premier and senior PML-N leader, expressed unhappiness with the current political and electoral systems, stating a need for radical changes in governance and elections.

A research by the Hum Investigation Team found that around 98% of the ex-MPs did not submit their nomination papers by the December 22, 2023 deadline. Dozens of women were not nominated by their parties for the reserved seats, and four former members of the previous assembly had passed away.

Some well-known politicians not in the race include Miftah Ismail, former finance minister, Javed Hashmi, veteran politician, Jamal Laghari, former state minister, Rai Mujtaba Kharal, former MNA from Bahawalpur, Hamid Nasir Chatta, former speaker of the National Assembly, and Imran Ismail, former governor of Sindh.

Other ex-MPs not participating in the elections are Sumera Malik, Mian Shafiq, Asad Umar, Ali Zaidi, Khusro Bakhtiar (mentioned earlier), Amjad Niazi, Sadaqat Abbasi, Nusrat Sahar, and Ali Nawaz Awan. The list also includes Aamir Bakhsh Bhutto, Khurram Shahzad Awan, Faiz Kemuka, Mansoor Hayat, Chaudhry Jafar Iqbal, and Haider Thand.

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Former women MPs not in the fray are Maiza Hameed, Mehnaz Aziz, Ishrat Ashraf, Manza Hassan, Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Shireen Mazari, Andaleeb Abbas, Rida Khan, Shehzadi Umarzadi Tiwana, Ghazala Saifee, Aamra Khan, Asma Qadeer, Seemi Bukhari, Sobia Kamal, and Malaika Bukhari.

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