Prominent Pakistani Politicians Opt Out of 2024 General Election

More than 70 former members of the National Assembly have chosen not to participate in the upcoming general election, slated for February 2024. Among these individuals, notable figures from Pakistan’s political landscape, including two former prime ministers, have made the decision.

One such figure, Mohsin Khan Leghari, a former PTI MNA, expressed his dismay regarding the ongoing “political shenanigans” within the country, leading him to abstain from filing his nomination papers. Similarly, Khusro Bakhtiar, another ex-PTI MNA, has also chosen not to partake in the contest.

Asfandyar Wali Khan, the President of ANP and a veteran politician, will not be competing in the elections due to health-related concerns. Instead, his son will take his place as the candidate for his home constituency, as announced by ANP spokesperson Samar Bilour.

Ghaus Bux Mehar, a former PPP MNA who has previously secured victory five times, has decided to exit politics, allowing an opportunity for the younger generation. His son will run for his seat from Shikarpur. Additionally, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, a former prime minister and the leader of PML-Q, will not participate in the elections due to illness, confirmed by a family member.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, another former premier and a senior leader of PML-N, has voiced dissatisfaction with the existing political and electoral systems, with no apparent optimism for change. He advocates for a comprehensive overhaul of governance and election mechanisms in the country.

According to research, approximately 98 percent of former MPs failed to submit their nomination papers by the December 22, 2023 deadline. Notably, numerous women were not nominated by their parties for the reserved seats. The research also revealed that four former members of the previous assembly have passed away.

Several prominent politicians have opted not to participate in the election, including Miftah Ismail, the former finance minister, Javed Hashmi, a veteran politician, Jamal Laghari, a former state minister, Rai Mujtaba Kharal, the former MNA from Bahawalpur, Hamid Nasir Chatta, the former speaker of the National Assembly, and Imran Ismail, the former governor of Sindh.

Other former MPs abstaining from the elections include Sumera Malik, Mian Shafiq, Asad Umar, Ali Zaidi, Khusro Bakhtiar, Amjad Niazi, Sadaqat Abbasi, Nusrat Sahar, and Ali Nawaz Awan.

The list further encompasses Aamir Bakhsh Bhutto, Khurram Shahzad Awan, Faiz Kemuka, Mansoor Hayat, Chaudhry Jafar Iqbal, and Haider Thand.

Former women MPs who are not participating in the electoral process include 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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