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pakistan
Monday Feb 22 2021
By
Web Desk

Senate election 2021: Meet the PTI candidates

By
Web Desk
Top Left to bottom right: Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Shibli Faraz, Faisal Vawda, Saifullah K Nyazee, Sania Nishtar and Falak Naz. Photo: Files

For the March 3 polls of the Upper House, the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has fielded 16 candidates. As of Monday, the nomination papers of one candidate have been rejected by the election commission, but who are the other men and women likely to be named senators for a period of six years?

Punjab

Saifullah Khan Nyazee — General seat

Nyazee was born on 25 August, 1973. He is one of the oldest members of the PTI. In the past, Nyazee has held the position of additional secretary general, while right now he serves as the chief organiser in the PTI.

Ejaz Ahmad Chaudhary — General Seat

Chaudhary joined the PTI in 2007. Soon after, he was appointed the vice president in Punjab and chief political advisor. Later, after winning the intra-party elections, he was appointed the president of PTI in Punjab. Chaudhary began his political career from the platform of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI). In 1990, he was the deputy mayor of Lahore and in 1998 he grew within the ranks of the JI to secure a position in the central executive committee of the party. He left JI in 2007.

Aon Abbas — General seat

Abbas was born in 1977 in the Multan district. He holds a bachelor's degree in communications from the University of Nottingham. Abbas owns a wide range of businesses in South Punjab including agricultural lands, petrol pumps, and educational institutes. Abbas joined PTI in 2015. He has previously served as special advisor to Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

Barrister Ali Zafar — Technocrat seat

The barrister has been elected unopposed as a Senator on a technocrat seat from Punjab. Zafar obtained a law degree from the London School of Economics in 1983. Previously, he has served as the president of the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan and was named the minister for law in the caretaker cabinet during the 2018 election.

Dr Zarqa Suharwardy Taimur — Women seat

Dr Taimur has also been elected unopposed as a Senator on a women's seat in Punjab. A dermatologist by profession, Taimur was awarded a gold medal by the Punjab University in 1989. The doctor joined PTI in 2010. She does not come from a political background. In fact, Taimur charted her own political trajectory from the grassroots of the party by winning the intra-party polls at the UC level. Previously, she served as the president of PTI’s Lahore women wing and was the media head of the women wing in Punjab. In 2018, PTI had also named her for the Senate seat in Punjab but she was unsuccessful.

Sindh

Faisal Vawda — General seat

Vawda is currently the federal minister for water resources. He contested the polls for the first time in 2018 from NA-249 in Karachi, where he received over 35,000 votes. The Election Commission of Pakistan is hearing a case of disqualification against Vawda for allegedly hiding his dual nationality at the time of filling his papers for the general election.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Shibli Faraz — General seat

Shibli Faraz is the son of Urdu poet Ahmed Faraz. He is an investment banker by profession and has also worked as a pilot of the Pakistan International Airlines. Faraz has served as the leader of the house in the Senate from August 26, 2018 to June 4, 2020. He contested the election for mayor from the Kohat District in 2002. His uncle Masood Kausar was the former governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Faraz joined the PTI in 2015.

Mohsin Aziz — General seat

Aziz has been reissued a Senate election ticket, after his retirement was due this year. He belongs to a well-known business and industrial family from Peshawar.

Faisal Saleem Rehman — General seat

Rehman hails from the Mardan district and is close to Defence Minister Pervez Khattak. The PTI-government has also appointed him chairman of the Board of Investment. Rehman is the cousin of former provincial minister Atif Khan. As per sources, one reason to give the Senate ticket to Rehman has been to reduce the influence of Atif Khan in the Mardan district.

Najiullah Khattak — General seat

Khattak belongs to Peshawar. He started his political career in 2007. For the 2013 and 2018 national polls, Khattak aspired to get a ticket for the provincial seat of Karak. He is known to be close to the Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Mahmood Khan. Previously, he was associated with the Atif Khan-group in the PTI, but he later left the group.

Dr Sania Nishtar — Women seat

Nishtar was born in Peshawar on February 16, 1963. Sania Nishtar is the granddaughter of the former governor of Punjab Sardar Abdur Rab Nıshtar. She is currently the special assistant to the prime minister on poverty alleviation, with the status of a federal minister. Nishtar was a candidate for the Director-General of the World Health Organisation in 2017.

Falak Naz — Women seat

Naz hails from Chitral district. She is at the moment the general secretary of the PTI’s Women's Wing Malakand Division. Naz has been active in politics for the last two decades. She took up politics inspired by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Islamabad

Abdul Hafeez Sheikh — General seat

Sheikh is an economist who is currently serving as the minister for finance. He has held this post in the past as well from 2010 to 2013. In 2000, he was the provincial minister of finance in Sindh. He was also a member of the Senate from 2003 to 2006, 2006 to 2012 and again from 2012 to 2018.

Fauzia Arshad — Women seat

Arshad has been active in welfare work as an educationalist and a social worker. At the same time, she entered politics. She joined PTI in 2007. She contested the local body polls in 2015 at the union council and won.

Balochistan 

Zahoor Agha — General seat

Zahoor Agha has been associated with the PTI since 2006. He belongs to a prominent political family of Balochistan and has many relatives in the Balochistan Awami Party. He has been the senior vice-president of the party’s Balochistan wing and has also been part of the party’s executive committee.