A weak candidate against a seasoned politician.

ISLAMABAD -- The only difference between Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) in the Wednesday's Senate election for a general seat from Islamabad was a weaker candidate Hafeez Shaikh pitched against a seasoned politician Yousuf Raza Gillani, the results of the two closely-contested Senate seats from Islamabad suggest.

Given the Gillani's stature, personal political relations and kinship with the political families coupled with PTI fielding Hafeez Sheikh; a non-political personality having no constituency and who has never been part of active politics apparently made it possible for the PDM to win the Islamabad Senate seat against the PTI.

The results of the two Islamabad seats suggest that PDM's candidate Gilani won against Hafeez Sheikh not PTI.

Hafeez Sheikh lost to Yousuf Raza Gilani by 5 votes while PTI's Fouzia Arshad won against the PML-N's Farzana Kousar by 13 votes from the same electoral college in the National Assembly same day.

Yousaf Raza Gilani bagged 169 votes while his rival Hafeez Shaikh received 164 votes. Seven votes were rejected.

On the other hand, PTI's Fouzia Arshad bagged 174 votes against the PML-N candidate Farzana Kousar who got 161 votes, giving the impression either the Sheikh's opponent was so strong or the ruling party's candidate himself was so weak.

It can be said without any exaggeration that Sheikh, totally a non-political personality, lacked the political base needed to contest election against a seasoned politician and former Prime Minister like Gilani. If the ruling PTI candidate were stronger, Gilani might not have won its Senate nomination, the victory of Fouzia Arshad suggests.

Fouzia Arshad, basically an educationist from Islamabad was previously elected as a Union Council chairperson in the first-ever Local Government elections in Islamabad and was later awarded the ticket for the Senate seat from women.

Yousaf Raza Gilani, a seasoned politician and former Prime Minister who belongs to the PPP, enjoyed the support of the 11-party alliance, PDM against the person having no constituency and such political closeness with the members of...

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