By: Yasir Bajwa
The area comprising the NA-120 constituency is a pre-partition locality, part of Lahore’s famed ‘old city’, with historic buildings — many of which have since been demolished and made into commercial plazas.
The constituency also comprises Data Darbar, the city’s biggest wholesale market (Shalmi), electronics market (Hall Road) and vehicle parts market (Bilal Gunj).
The Central Model School, considered the city’s best public school, is located here, along with the famous Government College and National College of Arts — whose students are often found in Anarkali Bazaar shopping for art stationery.Anarkali also hosts scores of shops of women’s clothing, khusas, and other everyday household items.
The area boasts a high literacy rate according to several reports, and most people are either working middle-class folk or traders/businessmen.
However, despite having elected a prime minister thrice, several areas of the constituency are accumulated with rainwater nearly every monsoon season. Traffic is always a nightmare. Drinking water is of an unacceptable standard and electricity load-shedding is worst during peak summers.The Punjab Assembly and the CM’s Secretariat at 90 The Mall are situated in the constituency, which also covers localities such as Lower Mall, Mazang, Chauburji, Islampura (Krishnagar), Mayo Hospital, Urdu Bazaar, Bilal Gunj, Sanda, Anarkali, Santnagar, Rajgarh, Riwaz Garden, Temple Road, Lake Road, Lytton Road, Hall Road, Cooper Road, Shamnagar, Ravi Colony, Kasurpura, Khokhar Town, New Anarkali, Kareem Park, Queens Road, Shahrah-e-Fatima Jinnah, Moj Darya Road, Ram Nagar, Dave Samaaj Road, Prem Nagar, Bund Road and Mominpura.
Most homes here are apartments atop shops where large families are crammed; however, several have also moved out, converting their home spaces to godowns as well.
Nawaz and Shehbaz Sharif both lived in the area as well and went to St Anthony’s School on Lawrence Road and onwards to the famous Government College.Moreover, the provincial assembly constituencies PP-139 and PP-140 fall under NA-120, bagged by PML-N’s Bilal Yasin (present Punjab food minister and relative of Kulsoom) and Majid Zahoor, respectively.
PTI’s Dr Yasmin Rashid also hails from a local family of the area. Her father-in-law was elected from the area during Bhutto’s government.
Meanwhile, Kulsoom, among other things, can count on the local support of the pehlwans — being the granddaughter of the famous Gama Pehlwan — who’re still very influential in the area and command respect.
After the creation of Pakistan, NA-120 was consisted of Sylhet District in East Pakistan.
Mustafa Ali won the first general election in the NA-120 in 1970. All the delimitation were scrapped after the Dhaka fell. As per new delimitation NA-120 constituency was consisted of Multan city.Pakistan Peoples Party’s Makhdoom Zaman Talib clinched victories in 1972. In 1977, PPP’s Taj Muhammad won the general elections from the constituency. Rana Shoukat Hayat Noon elected MNA from NA-120 in 1985.
Under the new delimitation of 1988, NA-120 constituency was extended to Multan-cum-Khanewal. PPP’s Chaudhary Abdul Rehman Wahla was elected as MNA in the general election 1988. He secured 50,947 votes. While his contender Javed Hashmi, a candidate of Islami Jamhoori Ittehad received 48,086 votes.In 1990 Islami Jamhoori Ittehad’s Javed Hashmi clinched the seat by securing 70,025 votes. His contender Khalid Iqbal Randhawa of PPP took 52881 votes.
PPP’s Shah Mehmood Qureshi was elected MNA from the constituency in 1993 by securing 73,289 votes. While his contender Javed Hashmi, backed by PML-N received 54,387 votes.PML-N candidate Javed Hashmi took his revenge by defeating Shah Mehmood Qureshi in general elections-1997. Hashmi took 59,675 votes and Qureshi secured 49,346 votes in the elections.In 1999, then Chief of Army Staff General Pervez Musharraf took over the legitimate government and conducted new delimitation.
NA-120 was shifted to Lahore under the new delimitation. A new constituency was established in Lahore by merging NA-95 and NA-96. It is pertinent to mention here that NA-96 had a historical importance as PPP founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was elected MNA from here.Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidate Muhammad Pervaiz won the election-2002 by securing 33741 votes. He defeated PML-Q Mian Muhammad Ashraf. PML-Q candidate took 15,085 votes.In 2008, PML-N again clinched NA-120 seat by securing 65,946 votes. PML-N candidate Bilal Yasin defeated PPP’s candidate late Jehangir Badar.In 2013, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif claimed victory in NA-120 by securing 91,683 votes. His contender Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Doctor Yasmin Rashid took 52,354 votes.