In an unexpected turn of events, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) finds itself reeling from a shocking defeat in the by-poll for the Havelian tehsil mayor’s office on August 6. Meanwhile, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) is jubilant over the victory of independent candidate Uzair Khan, who managed to outshine PTI’s own Iftikhar Khan Jadoon.
The race for the mayor’s position saw six contenders, all vying for the vacant role after the tragic assassination of tehsil mayor Atif Munsif Khan, a crime that also claimed the lives of his six guards and driver in a fatal gun attack.
Key candidates in the by-election included Iftikhar Khan Jadoon of the PTI, Malik Talha of the PML-N, independent candidate Uzair Khan, as well as Shiraz Khan from the PPP and Shamrez Khan as another independent contestant.
Sources reveal that the PML-N is grappling with the aftermath of the defeat, especially given the fervent campaigning efforts led by PML-N MNA Murtaza Javed Abbasi and former MPA Aurangzeb Nalotha in support of the party’s nominee.
The Election Commission of Pakistan has also taken notice of MNA Abbasi’s involvement in the election, issuing a show-cause notice. Despite the government’s endeavors to sway voters with development projects, the PML-N was unable to secure victory.
Political analysts emphasized that the primary battle unfolded between PTI’s Iftikhar Khan Jadoon and independent candidate Uzair Khan, who incidentally is the cousin of the late former MPA, Atif Munsif Khan. Uzair Khan initially applied for a PTI ticket, but the party ultimately endorsed Jadoon.
Observers noted that Iftikhar Khan Jadoon held sway in the area, garnering support from influential trader and political figure Khursheed Azam Khan, who eventually withdrew his candidacy in favor of Jadoon.
The prevailing high inflation during the tenure of the PML-N’s federal government appeared to cast a shadow over the party’s prospects. Nevertheless, the PML-N managed to organize large public gatherings and corner meetings in their bid for electoral success.
However, political experts firmly assert that the unexpected loss has dealt a significant blow to the PML-N’s standing in the area, raising questions about its future influence in Havelian’s political landscape.