Election Watch Update - April 15

The ANP continues to be targeted in pre-election violence in Pakistan. Malakand-based leader Mukarram Shah was killed on Sunday.

While the ECP has reminded political parties of a new code of conduct that bars them from seeking votes in the name of religion, gender or caste, the JUI-F’s Fazlur Rehman says the election will be a clash of secular and religious forces.

PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s reported move to contest as an independent candidate in Sindh is not going down well with his party colleagues.

Pervez Musharraf is set to announce the All Pakistan Muslim League’s manifesto today. The party has received 600 applications for seats for the elections.

Dawn profiles the Muzaffargarh constituencies, where veteran politicians such as the Khars and relatively newer candidates like Jamshed Dasti will be running. According to Dawn, the PML-N’s candidate for one of the Muzaffargarh seats is a former Sipah-e-Sahaba leader who announced Rs10 million as head money for Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer for supporting Aasia Masih, a Christian woman accused of blasphemy.

Dawn also profiles the Sialkot constituencies and long-term representative, the PML-N’s Khawaja Asif, as well as the PPP's Firdous Ashiq Awan.

The PML-N has managed to get Jafar Leghari on board for a seat in Rajanpur.

Infighting in the PPP in Sindh continues over the way candidates have been nominated for provincial assembly seats. The president’s foster brother Owais Muzaffar ‘Tappi’ told the Karachi press to stop calling him Tappi, and denied allegations that he has been involved in land grabbing. He is a candidate for the Sindh Assembly from Thatta. An old-time PPP leader in Swat quit the party and joined the PTI on Sunday.

The MQM claims that the raids by the Rangers in Karachi are a way to stop the party’s election campaign.

The Jamaat-e-Islami has finalized its candidates for the National and Punjab Assembly from Lahore. The PML-Q has released a list of 10 National Assembly candidates.