Elections 2024: It Is All In The Family

What makes this election slightly different from past contests is that a new political generation of old political warhorses will likely take on a far more central role 

Elections 2024: It Is All In The Family

In many ways, the upcoming general elections on February 8 will be quite different from past polls. But in one aspect, it will repeat what has become a major talking point among voters, but not so much among the political parties.

Like past elections, the trend of blooding in a new generation of leaders from within the households of well-established political actors will be a recurring factor. What makes it slightly different this time is that the new political generation of old political warhorses will likely take on a far more central role before and after elections than during any past elections. 

In some cases, family members of major leaders are contesting polls together. In other cases, family members are competing against each other, often across competing political parties. It could mean that in certain areas, no matter who wins, a political family wins representation in the assembly. 

In the past, the trend was witnessed among male members of political families. But this has since expanded to include female members of families as well. Brothers are competing against sisters, fathers against sons, husbands against wives, uncles against nephews or nieces, and cousins against cousins in different constituencies [National Assembly and Provincial Assemblies].

An independent survey conducted by [The Friday Times] reveals that some of the most famous political families, including the Sharifs and Bhuttos, are not only singularly contesting the polls, but key members of their families are also contesting the polls. 

Among the Bhutto's, the family patriarch and former president Asif Ali Zardari is contesting elections from NA207-Nawabshah. His son and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, is also contesting for National Assembly seats from NA-127 in Lahore and NA-194 in Larkana.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is fielding supremo Nawaz Sharif from NA-15 Manshera, K-P, and NA-130 Lahore.

His daughter, Maryam Nawaz, is contesting from NA-119 Lahore, while his brother and former prime minister Shehbaz Sharif is contesting from NA-123 Lahore.

Shahbaz's son and Nawaz's nephew, the former Punjab chief minister Hamza, are contesting from NA-118.

The PML-N has also handed tickets to the mother-son duo of Saira Afzal Tarar and Attaullah Tarar. Saira will be contesting from NA-67, while Attaullah Tarar is contesting from NA-127.

Elsewhere, senior politicians representing powerful political clans include the Qureshis, Gilanis, Legharis, Khars, Gormani, Jatois, Waranr, Qaisrani and others contesting polls from South Punjab.

Former prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani is contesting elections along with his three sons, Ali Musa Gilani, Abdul Qadir Gilani, and Ali Haider Gilani. 

With Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi sentenced in the cipher case, ruling him out of the polls - though his papers had been rejected from NA-150 and NA-151 but accepted from NA-214, his daughter Mehar Bano Qureshi will be contesting from NA-151 and Zain Qureshi will be contesting elections from NA-150 with support from the PTI.

Mehar Bano Qureshi, though, will face tough opposition from Yusuf Raza Gilani's son, Syed Ali Moosa Gilani, who is contesting on a PPP ticket.

Another interesting contest involving families is the contest between two brothers from the influential Khosa tribe. Amjad Farooq Khosa is contesting the general elections from NA-183 on a Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz ticket. His son Abdul Qadir Khosa is also a contestant in the general elections.

The Khar family of Punjab will see Raza Rabbani and Abdul Khaliq contest from different constituencies.

The famous Baloch tribe Leghari will see not only the tribal chief Awais Leghari contest polls but also his son Ammar Leghari.

In Muzaffargarh, members of the local Nawabzada family, including Nawabzada Iftikhar and the daughter-in-law of Nawabzada Mansoor, will be contesting the elections.

From the Jatoi family, Dawood Jatoi, Ahmed Khan Jatoi, and Rasool Jatoi will be contesting the polls.

From the Gorchani family of Rajanpur, Pervez Gorchani(father), and his sons Ali Sher Gorchani and Sher Afgan Gorchani are contesting from different constituencies of Punjab.

In this poll, three brothers from Khanewal, including Iftikhar Nazeer, Attaur Rahman and Ziaur Rahman, are contesting polls.
Interestingly, from Taunsa Sharif area, a young couple, Farhan Bhutta and Rashida Naseem Bhutta, also trying their luck in the polls.

From Sindh, former National Assembly Speaker Fehmida Mirza and her husband, renowned political figure Zulfiqar Mirza, are set to flex their political muscles. Fehmida Mirza is a candidate from NA-223 Badin. However, her son Mohammad Hassam will be contesting on a ticket of the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA). In contrast, she will contest as an independent against a GDA member.

Her other son, Hasnain Mirza, will be contesting for the provincial assembly seat from the same area.

From Balochistan, former senator Lashkari Raisani and former chief minister Nawab Aslam Raisani are ready to contest the elections. Their nephew and Pakistan's youngest-ever provincial minister, Nawabzada Mir Jamal Khan Raisani, will be contesting from NA-264 Quetta and will take on veteran politician Nawab Akhtar Mengal.

Likewise, cousins Qadir Baloch and Sanaullah Zehri will participate in the upcoming elections. 

Members of the Hujra family, including Ahmed Yar Hunjra and Qasim Hujra, are participating in the polls. From the Khetran tribe, a member of the same family contesting in the polls.  
In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, former chief minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-Parliamentarians (PTI-P) Chairman Pervez Khattak and his sons Ibrahim and Ismail will be contesting elections. 

Pervez Khattak is contesting elections from NA-33 along with the provincial assembly seats of PK-87 and PK-88. His sons will be contesting PK-85 and PK-86, respectively. Khattak's son-in-law, Dr Imran Khattak, will contest NA-34 and PK-89. 

Khattak's brother and former provincial minister Liaquat Khattak will also contest elections. He will square off against his brother in PK-87 on the ticket of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F). Liaquat's son Ahad will contest against his uncle Pervez Khattak in PK-88.

Former PTI MNA Usman Khan Tarakai will face his nephew, former PTI provincial minister Shahram Khan Tarakai, in NA-20 Swabi. Shahram Khan Tarakai's younger brother Faisal has also received a ticket.

In Kohat, the sons of former Senator Shamim Afridi are contesting polls from opposing parties but not directly against each other. Amjad Afridi is a candidate for the PML-N in NA-35 and PK-91, while his brother Abbas Afridi is a candidate for PK-90.

Mansehra, a region where PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif and his son-in-law Captain Safdar are contesting, will see Awami National Party's Zarin Gul Khan and his younger brother, PPP's Zar Gul Khan, contest elections.

Zarin will contest PK-41, while Zar Gul will go up against Nawaz for NA-15.

It is a similar story in Chitral, where Shehzada Iftikharuddin will contest on a PML-N ticket for NA-1, while his brother Shehzada Pervez will compete for PK-2 on a PTI-P ticket.