As political activities gain momentum in the district, mainstream political parties remain dented with internal rifts.
With infighting in the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) and Awami National Party (ANP) over the distribution of tickets, several party workers have decided to contest the forthcoming elections independently.
Five of the JUI-F party workers have decided to try their luck and stand as independent candidates. For the NA-31 constituency, former senator and JUI-F district amir Maulana Rahat Hussain, District General Secretary Haji Azizur Rehman, Qari Mushtaq, Abdul Tawab, and Haji Abdul Muneem are among those who have opted out.
Similarly, for PK-88, the JUI-F earlier nominated Abdul Maula, but later decided to support Sher Alam. As a result, Maula decided to contest the elections from an independent platform.
On the other hand, ANP District General Secretary Mohammad Yar Khan quit the party after not being able to obtain a ticket and joined the JUI-F.
The ANP nominated Haji Said Fareen Khan, party district president, to contest for the PK-87 seat. The party has also nominated Said Farin Khan’s son, Haji Sadeedur Rehman, for the national constituency.
The NA-31 constituency is considered to be Amirr Muqam’s stronghold. If politics in the region was fought on personality as opposed to party affiliation, Muqam would be the clear winner. This time however, Dr Ibadullah, Muqam’s brother and former district nazim, will contest the election from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) platform.
Despite the fact that Muqam has consistently won this seat, the ANP, JUI-F and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) also have a vote bank in the constituency. According to political observers in Shangla, a tough contest is expected between Dr Ibadullah and ANP’s Haji Sadeedur Rehman. Azizur Rehman, a JUI-F candidate, will also be contesting for the NA-31 seat.
Nominated from other parties:
PML-N: Dr Ibadullah
ANP: Haji Sadeed ur Rehman
JUI-F: Azizur Rehman
PPP: Engr Hamid Iqbal Khan
Being a relative of Amir Muqam, it is strongly believed that Fazalullah, a former MPA, will be able to get a PML-N ticket for this constituency. If he is awarded a ticket, the PML-N’s victory here is not certain.
The public is unhappy with the former MPA’s performance and claim he did nothing for development in the area.
Tough completion is expected from Abdul Maula, an independent, and ANP’s Advocate Anwar Ali for PK-88.
ANP: Anwar Ali Advocate
PML-N: Fazlullah Khan
JUI-F: Sher Alam
PPP: Bakht Zaman Khan
Independent: Abdul Maula
Although presently considered a PML-N stronghold, the ANP also possesses a strong vote bank to clinch victory in the constituency. In the past, both the PML-N and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) have won the seat. This time round, the PPP and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) are both considered to be major parties in the constituency that can give their opponents a tough time in the upcoming polls.
But people in the constituency are not satisfied with the performance of the previously elected MPA, Mohammad Rashad Khan. Even if Khan is given a ticket, his victory is doubtful.
On the other hand, the region’s youth are hopeful to see the PTI victorious. Political analysts believe if PTI Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa General Secretary Shaukat Yousafzai contested from PK-87, his chances to win the seat would not be diminished.
Keeping in mind the area’s past record, the Qaumi Watan Party (QWP), JUI-F and Jamaat-e-Islami have little chance to win the PK-87 seat.
Candidates of other parties:
PML-N: Mohammad Rashad Khan
ANP: Haji Said Fareen
JUI-F: Mohammad Yar Khan
QWP: Motwakil Khan
Published in The Express Tribune, April 5th, 2013.