Financial tycoons active in coming general elections

SIALKOT: The fastapproaching 2013 general elections have again provided a chance to the local exportersturnedpoliticians to contest under the umbrella of the main stream political parties, which had given priority while fielding the local export tycoons as their candidates in 2008 general elections.

In this existing pre polls political scenario of Sialkot district, the coming general elections have again opened the doors of politics for the Sialkot based financial tycoons, as the main stream political parties were giving priority to the local financial tycoons instead of nominating their candidates from their workers or from the common people ahead of the general elections.

Now, these polls were seemed to be a political battle between the local exportersturnedpoliticians, who were locking their horns on the platforms of their main stream political parties including PMLN and PPP in Sialkot.

Some local political Pandits were of the view that now the politics in Sialkot had become a political game for the local exporters and financial tycoons. Every main stream political party was giving priority to nominate the local financial tycoons as their candidates instead of nominating their candidates from the party workers or the candidates from the general public. After conquering the trade and export vistas now the exporters in Sialkot were showing keen interest in becoming the politicians and preferring to also test their fate in the politics as well, as they had done in 2008 general elections as well.

In this pre polls political scenario of Sialkot district, it seemed that there would be no candidate belonging to middle class would be able to get the ticket of any main stream political party ahead of 2013 general elections. The question arises here about the political future of the candidates belonging to the middle class if the main stream political parties were most likely to nominate the local financial tycoons as their candidates for the coming general elections.

It will be worth mentioning here that the doing politics was going out of the reach of the common people or the aspiring candidates belonging to the middle class in Sialkot district here. There seemed to be no chance for the middle class’ candidates to get the tickets of the main political parties. It also seemed that politics and contesting elections have become a game of the local financial tycoons in Sialkot.

This situation was also opening the doors of the politics of wealth and capital in Sialkot district.

Majority of the Sialkot based financial tycoons was intending to contest the coming general elections and all of the intending financial tycoons were hopeful to get the tickets of the main political parties including PMLN, PPP, PTI and PMLQ.

Local financial tycoons have already started holding corner meetings. The names of the local financial tycoons who had indulged themselves into politics are: Mian Naeem Javaid former president of Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and IndustrySCCI and PMLQ backed former District Nazim of Sialkot, Mian Muhammad Riaz former president of Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Muhammad Akmal Cheema PMLQ backed former District Nazim of Sialkot, his elder brother Muhammad Ajmal Cheema PMLQ backed former provincial minister, Imtiazud Din Dar former Tehsil Nazim Sialkot , his son Umer Farooq Dar, Muhammad Saleem Baryar President PMLQ Sialkot District, his younger brother Ansar Iqbal Baryar former MPA of PMLQ, MPA Engineer Imran Ashraf, MPA Ch. Muhammad Ikram, MPA Rana Shamim Ahmed Khan , PMLQ MPA Bao Muhammad Rizwan and MNA Khawaja Muhammad Asif who is also a business tycoon of Sialkot as well.

Both of the PMLQ backed former District Nazims of Sialkot Mian Naeem Javaid, former Tehsil Nazim of Sialkot Imtiazud Din Dar and his son Umer Farooq Dar and former provincial minister Muhammad Ajmal Cheema had already joined PTI after leaving the PMLQ. Now, they were back in the electoral race from the platform of PTI instead of PMLQ.

PMLN MPA Engineer Imran Ashraf, a financial tycoon, had also joined PTI after quitting from PMLN due to his fiveyear long mounted political differences with MNA Khawaja Muhammad Asif.

Now, the PMLN local leadership has also decided to bring a local leading property developer financial tycoon Ch. Arshad Javaid Warraich in the constituency PP 123, Sialkot-III as PML-N candidate here after the joining of PML-N MPA Engineer Imran Ashraf to PTI. Arshad Javaid Warraich is very close friend and business partner of Khawaja Muhammad Asif, who had also been running a business of rice exports here.

Exporter turned politician Muhammad Saleem Baryar, President PML-Q Sialkot district and his younger brother Ansar Iqbal Baryar PMLQ backed former MPA were also striving to contest the coming general elections on platform of PMLQ from their native constituencies here.

Sialkot based leading exporters, both of the Cheema Brothers Muhammad Ajmal Cheema PMLQ backed former provincial minister and Muhammad Akmal Cheema PMLQ backed former District Nazim of Sialkot had very close association with Ch. Pervaiz Elahi , but they flew to the camps of PTI after quitting the PMLQ. Now, they were hopeful to get the PTI tickets for contesting general polls from their native constituencies.

Another leading financial tycoon Mian Muhammad Riaz former president of Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry SCCI and former chairman of Sialkot International Airport Limited SIAL was also in the electoral race and this time he was intending to get PMLN ticket to contest the coming general polls. He was knocked out by the PMLN central leader Khawaja Muhammad Asif in 2002 and 2008 general elections from Sialkot city constituency NA 110, Sialkot-I.

Another leading export Ch, Muhammad Ikram was elected as PMLN MPA from PP 122, Sialkot-II during the by polls held in December 2012. Now, he was in very strong position to get party ticket from this constituency.

PMLN MNA Rana Abdul Sattar from Sambrial, MNA from Pasrur Zahid Hamid and MPA from Daska Ch. Yahiya Gul Nawaz were the lawyers by profession and belonged to the local landlord families. PPP’s losing candidate in PP 124 Sialkot-IV Ch. Awais Mushtaq Advocate is also a local leading lawyer.

Local PPP leaders Dr. Tanveer ul Islam former provincial minister and Dr. Zaheerul Hassan Rizvi PPP losing candidate from Daska in 2008 polls had been running their private hospitals and a private medical college in Sialkot.

Another financial tycoon and MPA Engineer Imran Ashraf will now contest coming general polls on PTI platform from Sialkot city against the PMLN’s MNA Khawaja Muhammad Asif.

Local leaders of the PMLN, PPP, PMLQ and PTI told that these parties had received a big number of the applications by the candidates belonging to even the middle class, seeking the parties’ tickets for the coming general elections from different seats of national and provincial assembles in Sialkot district here. However, the leaders said that the tickets would be awarded to the strong candidates purely on merit, in this regard.