Following the selection of a caretaker chief minister for Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), election campaigns are now in full swing in the province.
The late MPA Alamzeb Umerzai’s wife, Najmazeb Umerzai, submitted her application to the Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) for a ticket to contest the National Assembly seat from NA-7, Charsadda on Saturday.
Najmazeb is the second woman to contest from Charsadda. In 1993, Begum Naseem Wali Khan, wife of the late Awami National Party (ANP) provincial president Khan Abdul Wali Khan, was elected as MPA from PK-17.
Najma’s husband Alamzeb was provincial leader of the then Pakistan Peoples Party-Sherpao and elected as an MPA from PK-19 in the 2002 general polls. He was a runner-up in the 2008 elections, but was shot dead later by unidentified men in April 2010.
For this election, Alamzeb’s brother also submitted an application to QWP for a party ticket to contest for the PK-19 seat.
Candidates expected to contest from NA-7 are ANP leader Asfandyar Wali Khan, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl’s district chief Maulana Gohar Shah, Jamaat-e-Islami leader Arshid Khan, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s Haji Ihsanullah Khan and a candidate from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.
Meanwhile, around 40 families in Khanmahi area of tehsil Tangi in Charsadda also quit the ANP and decided to join QWP. Talking to journalists, former ANP chairman Asif Jan Khan said ANP has completely failed to restore peace and fulfil its promises, which is why the families decided to quit the party. However, according to sources, the move occurred due to internal rifts and disputes on issuing party tickets.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 17th, 2013.