SHABQADAR: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Monday de-seated former Shabqadar tehsil nazim Zafar Ali Khan after Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) challenged his candidature as he left the party and joined Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F).
“QWP had challenged his [Khan’s] candidature in the ECP through advocate Nisar Muhammad Khan and today [Monday], he was de-seated from Tehsil membership,” QWP spokesman Tariq Khan confirmed.
“Khan was elected as tehsil council member on QWP’s ticket. Later, he was elected as Shabqadar tehsil nazim. He resigned from QWP in May 2017 and joined JUI-F,” he added.
However, Khan denied his de-seating, saying that he is still a Tehsil member as the case is in Peshawar High Court.
The ruckus over switching parties has created a rift between the coalition government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), QWP and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) in Charsadda, which is evident from the fact that the district budget has not yet been passed when it should have been in June.
The three parties had inked an agreement that each party would elect its district nazim and tehsil nazims for a term of two years and then hand over the reigns to the other party members nominated for the posts. JI had been empowered to elect its candidate as district naib nazim for four years under the agreement. However, reluctance in handing over the reigns created serious differences among the parties, delaying the passage of the budget.
According to the agreement, the district nazim’s slot was allotted to PTI and bagged by Fahad Riaz, while both Zafar Ali Khan and Yahya Jan Mohmand of QWP were elected tehsil nazims of Shabqadar and Tangi, respectively. JI elected Musawir Shah as district naib nazim, while the posts of teshil naib nazims of Shabqadar and Tangi were given to PTI.
In May 2017, Khan had joined JUI-F and went on a leave, leaving the post of Shabqadar tehsil nazim vacant. The post was claimed by PTI’s naib nazim Ghaffar Sheikh, while PTI’s Muzamil Khan took over the position of Shabqadar naib nazim.
Now, PTI has district nazim’s post as well as Shabqadar tehsil nazim and naib nazims’. In a coalition meeting, QWP demanded handing over the charges of district nazim and Shabqadar teshil nazim to its candidates, but the PTI’s district nazim is reluctant to hand over his resignation ahead of Tangi teshil nazim’s.
District nazim Riaz said that he would have to submit his resignation before August, paving the way for QWP to appoint its candidate as the district nazim, adding that QWP’s candidate in Tangi tehsil is also bound to submit his resignation before August.
“Khan has joined JUI-F, but his position is not yet clear as he has not submitted his resignation,” he added.
Claiming that he was in close contact with all parliamentary leaders in the district government, Riaz hoped that the budget would be passed before the deadline of July 30.
Further, the row amongst the coalition government of Charsadda may give an opportunity to the Awami National Party (ANP) and JUI-F’s alliance to capitalise on the situation.
However, the PTI, QWP and JI have a majority of 39 votes in the District Assembly, Charsadda, while ANP and JUI-F have 36 votes.