Khalil Tahir Sindhu Clinches Surprise Victory in Punjab Senate Elections

Khalil Tahir Sindhu, representing the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and running for the minority seat in the Senate from Punjab, delivered a surprising victory by securing 253 votes, five more than the combined votes of the ruling coalition members. This accomplishment, despite the ruling alliance comprising 248 members in the Punjab Assembly, marks a significant triumph for Sindhu and the PML-N.

The win is attributed to Sindhu’s notable role as Minister of Parliamentary Affairs in the Punjab Assembly and his strong connections with certain opposition members. This strategic networking allowed him to gain support beyond his party lines, including from the Sunni Ittehad Council members, of which candidate Asif Bhatti received 99 votes.

This Senate election witnessed the PML-N winning all five seats from the Punjab Assembly, as confirmed by Provincial Election Commissioner Ejaz Chauhan. The polling, held on March 2, 2024, saw active participation from assembly members, with the process spanning from 9 am to 4 pm.

The contested seats included two reserved for women, two for technocrats, and one for a minority representative. Anusha Rehman and Bushra Anjum Butt of the PML-N secured the women’s seats with 125 and 123 votes, respectively. In the technocrat category, Federal Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb and Dr. Musaddiq Malik clinched victories with 128 and 121 votes, respectively.

In a notable development, seven candidates for general senate seats in the Punjab Assembly were elected unopposed on March 27, after the withdrawal of five other candidates. The successful candidates included five from PML-N – Pervez Rasheed, Talal Chaudhry, Nasir Mehmood Butt, Ahad Cheema, and Mohsin Naqvi – and two from the opposition, Sunni Ittehad Council’s Hamid Khan and Muttahida Wahdatul Muslimeen’s Allama Raja Nasir Abbas Jafri.

Of the 356 votes cast for the five senate seats, six were declared invalid by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), further emphasizing the rigour of the election process and the heightened political engagement in the Punjab Assembly.