Constituency profile: The Maulana faces a tough challenge in his stronghold

Published: May 6, 2013

The Maulana brothers – Fazlur Rehman and Attaur Rehman – are in the race for national and provincial seats.

DERA ISMAIL KHAN: 

Religion and tribal affiliations make up the political culture of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s southern districts of Dera Ismael Khan. Even political parties with strongly defined ideologies use their tribal ties to pump up their vote bank.

Previously, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl successfully used religion to win votes but this time around, even his party has had to field influential tribal personalities. The Maulana brothers – Fazlur Rehman and Attaur Rehman – are in the race for national and provincial seats.

Electoral trends

Politics in the two constituencies – NA-24 (DI Khan) and NA-25 (DI Khan-cum-Tank) – is heavily reliant on tribal and religious affiliations. The Gandapur, Kundi, Rajput, Wazir and Mehsud tribes decide the electoral outcome. Seraiki speakers also play an important role. In these strongly traditional, rugged lands, what counts is not the party or policies, but the tribal kinship. Family politics are interconnected to the voters by decades-old bonds of blood and loyalty.

A game of alliances

In both constituencies, three major political parties – Pakistan Peoples Party, Awami National Party and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz – have formed a grand alliance of sorts. Even though PML-N candidate Rehan Malik Advocate claims his party is not a part of such an alliance, candidates of other parties, including Sanaullah Miankhel running for PK-66 and Sardar Fateullah Miankhel contesting PK-67, are a part of the alliance apparently aimed at defeating the JUI-F.

With the arrival of PPP-P’s Waqar Ahmad Khan, the political scenario has changed in NA-24. Waqar is considered the main player behind the formation of the tripartite alliance which, sources say, was made at the local level, and the top leadership is not involved. Analysts believe the party might win the seat this time around.

However, PML-N’s Rehan Advocate accuses Waqar of pre-poll rigging by offering money to people to buy votes.

Alliance politics also dominates NA-25. This, coupled with family politics, apparently threatens the electoral stature of the JUI-F. The constituency comprises Tank district and the adjacent Paharpur and Kulachi tehsils of DI Khan district, where the JUI-F has a strong vote-bank while other parties mostly depend on some influential families.

Although religious parties have won before, the scenario seems different for the upcoming elections. This time, Engineer Dawar Khan Kundi is contesting on PTI’s ticket, and former deputy speaker of the National Assembly, Faisal Karim Kundi, is contesting on the PPP ticket.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman has had seat adjustment with independent candidates, including those running for PK-69 and PK-68. He also enjoys the support of Javed Akber Khan, the independent candidate on PK-67.

On the other hand, PTI’s Dawar has his own vote-bank in addition to PTI’s ideological votes, especially the votes of the Mehsud tribesmen. He has joined hands with independent candidate for PK-69 (Tank) Habibullah Khan Kundi.

PPP’s Faisal Kundi also entered into electoral cooperation with ANP candidate Mureed Kazim Shah on PK-68 (Paharpur-DI Khan). He will rake in the traditional PPP vote, but Dawar’s alliance with Habibullah may cut into the Kundi tribe’s vote for Faisal. Analysts predict a close match between these three top contenders for NA-25.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 6th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • SAK
    May 6, 2013 - 9:29AM

    I belong to NA-25, and supporter of PTI. What seem to me is that on NA-24, the alliance is more powerful and predicted to beat Maulana. PTI have good chances here as well. But for NA-25 Maulana is very strong, and hist last day rant about Imran is gonna get him votes.

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  • MAD
    May 6, 2013 - 9:48AM

    @SAK: That was the plan all along. Maulana knows that an outright defeat for him and him being out of parliament would be the end of his political career. PTI has plenty of politicians worried for their political future. Keep at it bro. Just maybe we can get rid of this joke of a politician.Recommend

  • H. Khan
    May 6, 2013 - 10:25AM

    I hope people see the truth and reality and do not vote for Mualana Fazlur Rehman.He has been a turncoat for personal gains

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  • MAD
    May 6, 2013 - 12:04PM

    Im even ok with the PPP man winning. Fazlur Rehman needs to be knocked out of politics now. Enough is enough.

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  • Kashif
    May 6, 2013 - 3:05PM

    @MAD:
    Agreed dada.Recommend

  • May 6, 2013 - 3:46PM

    Musarrat Shaheen should step down in favour of PTI or even the vice versa. Get the diesel out of Pakistan’s politics completely

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  • khan Gandapur
    May 6, 2013 - 5:05PM

    I belong to NA-25 DIKHAN CUM TANk.
    I belong to tehsil kulachi pk-67, here maulana has made an alliance with israr khan Gandapur the son of former chief minister of kpk ,sardar inayat khan Gandapur.
    maulana has big vote here due to this allliance…may be in this tehsil kulachi he got more votes than other.
    lets c what happens…

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  • imtiaz
    May 6, 2013 - 6:39PM

    Waqar Ahmed khan has properties worth billions in London. check search Waqar Ahmed khan vs Deutsche bank…
    Are we still voting for him? when are you people gonna wake up?
    shame on us.

    Recommend

  • zameer
    May 6, 2013 - 10:06PM

    Shame on Pakistanis if diesel makes it to legislature again

    Recommend

  • Qamar Kundi
    May 6, 2013 - 10:47PM

    I belong to NA-25 DIKHAN CUM TANk.
    PTI has strong chance to win the contest as alliance between Dawar Khan Kundi and Independent Candidate Habibullah Kundi would give tough time to Molana. Both the Kundis have huge vote bank. in last general election their total votes if supposed, they can easily win.

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