NA 63 (Pind Dadan Khan Tehsil & Jhelum Canntt) has been traditinally Nawabzadah Raja IqbaL Mehdi’s constituency (throughout 80s & 90s). Nawabzadah Shams Haider (fromN to Q to now again N) was also winning on provincial seat, both were contesting from N side. Being non-graduate , Iqbal Mehdi couldn’t contest himself and facilitated younger son of Raja Afzal, Raja Asad’s victory in 2002 and 2008. Raja Afzal’s elder son Raja Safdat lost against Ch. Shahabaz (Q) in 2002 on Raja Afzal’s own constituencey (since 1985).
Jhelum was a PPP stronghold in 70s. Dr. Ghulam Hussain defeated Ch. Altaf (Dolatana League) who was considered to be the most prominent politician of the district before 1970. By 1977, Ch. Altaf also joind PPP. He was appointed Governor of Punjab by PPP in 90s. Ex CJ Punjab HC, Justice (R) Iftikhar Hussain and Ch. Shahbaz Hussain (ex Q federal minister, now Q or PPP) are his brothers, Ch. Khurram Altaf (ex District Nazim, still Q) is his son and Fawwad Ch. (ex advisor to Gilani and Pervaiz Ashraf, from Q to Musharraf to PPP) is his nephew. Raja Afzal kept on defeating these Chaudhris since 1985. He bacame a very close and loyal friend of Nawaz Sharif. He kept on winning for N everytime around from 1985 to 2008.
Now that being a graduate is not a requirement, Raja Iqbal Mehdi was genuinely expecting that he’d get his seat back in 2013 but Raja Afzal desired to retain it for his younger son, Asad. N’s decisions in Pothohar region are predominently made by Ch. Nisar who’d go Iqbal Mehdi way. Due to dual nationality, Ch. Nadeem Khadim’s (PPP to Q to N) provincial seat got vacant. N Ticket was first given to Nadeem’s father Ch. Khadim but to prove his invulnerability in Jhelum District, Raja Afzal decided to run and because of his “Friendly” pressure, Nawaz Sharif, knowing that winner would be one of the two N Men but not knowing that it would be impossible to keep the aggrieved (loser) candidate in N afterwards, left it as open seat (against Shahbaz Sharif and Ch. Nisar’s wishes). Ch. Khadim defeated the runner up Raja Afzal by huge 60% margin and then joined N. Raja Afzal realising this kind of defeat would cut him to size in N, first wanted to jump to PTI but after meeting with IK, thought he wasn’t a politician to join, went in PPP leaving no space for Fawad Chaudhry etc. Raja Afzal could have kept NA 62 and possibly one provincial seat or could have been offered senator ship but definitely not two national and one provincial seats in N. He could have capitalized his strength in PTI (with Tsunami Waive) but that opportunity’s lost. Its hard to believe him being capable of defending even one seat (NA 62 held by his elder son Raja Safdar from N) in PPP, but who knows? His personal friendship with Nawaz Sharif was so strong that he refused to say a word against NS upon joining or after. Given the opportunity, befor or after election, he could go back, again who knows?
Raja Afzal + Tsunami waive could have swept it all but without him, PTI has a long long way to pave. In PPP, Raja Afzal would most probably be a lone star, wouldn’t do much. And, its a great loss for N as well. It’s a lose-lose situation for all N(for losing him), PTI (for not seizing the moment) and PPP (for Raja to be misfit there and for them to be unable to utilise). Things will become clearer in possibly 10 days after final lists are announced.