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Meet celebs challenging political biggies in polls

KARACHI: The stage is set for the 2018 general elections scheduled on July 25 as the country looks forward to rare second democratic transition in its 71-year history marred by military coups. 

With the polls less than a month away, electioneering is gathering momentum as election candidates square off for the electoral battle to secure a position in the hallowed halls of the country’s legislatures.

This time, election fever has gripped Pakistani celebrities too. Among over 11, 000 candidates in the run for national and provincial assembly seats are a few celebrities testing their luck.

Famed singer Abrarul Haq, a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) ticket holder, is contesting the election from NA-78 (Narowal). He will face off PML-N stalwart Ahsan Iqbal.

A tough contest is expected between the two candidates belonging to the parties considered major contenders in Punjab this election. In the election of 2013, the musician lost the national assembly seat to Iqbal and bagged 22, 369, less than half the votes secured by his rival.

Another musician and pop singer Jawad Ahmed is contesting against political heavyweights vying for the office of the prime minister of Pakistan.

Ahmed will face PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif on NA-132 Lahore while PTI chief Imran Khan on NA-131. He is also contesting the poll against PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on NA-246 Karachi.

The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has awarded three TV celebrities party tickets. Sajid Hassan is vying for NA-256 Karachi, Ayub Khoso is up for provincial assembly seat PS-101 and Gul-e-Rana for PS-94.

This is not the first time Pakistani celebrities stepping in the electoral race as famed actors such as Qavi Khan, Kanwal Nauman, Tariq Aziz, Inayat Hussain Bhatti, and Mustafa Qureshi have previously taken part in polls.

It remains to be seen whether they succeed in their electoral adventure or not.

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