Rehana Imtiaz Dar, the mother of former Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Usman Dar, has been approved as a candidate in the NA-71 Sialkot-2 constituency, where she will compete against her son’s longstanding rival, Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) leader Khawaja Muhammad Asif.
The election tribunal granted approval for her nomination papers on Tuesday, paving the way for her participation in the upcoming general elections scheduled for February 8.
Initially rejected by the returning officer (RO) over allegations of acquiring land through forgery, Rehana appealed the decision before the election tribunal, which subsequently overturned the RO’s ruling, clearing the way for her candidacy.
Simultaneously, the nomination papers of Usman Dar’s sister-in-law, Ruba Dar, wife of his brother Umer Dar, were also rejected in the same constituency. The rejections were primarily attributed to the alleged non-payment of Punjab Social Security dues.
In December of the previous year, Usman Dar had declared his strong support for his mother’s potential candidacy in the general elections. This statement came in the aftermath of what he described as an “attack” on his residence by Sialkot Police, who had reportedly mistreated his family during a late-night raid.
Usman Dar accused Khawaja Asif of orchestrating these actions to intimidate him and his family. Rehana Imtiaz Dar, undeterred by the challenges, affirmed her determination to file nomination papers for the February 8 polls. Despite facing alleged mistreatment during the process, she emphasized her resolve to contest the elections, even if subjected to incarceration.
“When they heard that I was submitting my nomination papers, they [Khawaja Asif] sent 20 people to my house who manhandled me. No one can force me into submitting to do what they want,” she stated, expressing her commitment to participating in the polls under any circumstances.