ISLAMABAD: Former president and chief of All-Pakistan Muslim League (APML) Pervez Musharraf is all set to hold a big election rally in Chitral soon after his clearance from the election tribunal.
Musharraf has been summoned by the tribunal to appear before it on April 16, since the acceptance of his nomination papers from NA-32 Chitral was challenged by rival candidates.
Among the four constituencies for which Musharraf submitted his nomination papers, he was cleared to run only from NA-32 Chitral, the seat he is optimistic to secure if the legal complications did not restrict him.
“Yes, general sahib, will go to Chitral after April 17 to hold a big election rally in the valley and by that time, we will also make our manifesto public,” said Aasia Ishaq, the spokesperson of the APML.
The spokesperson said the party leader would visit the valley at any cost, saying that security is the responsibility of the government. “We are waiting for announcement of our manifesto which will hopefully be made public on April 16 or 17,” said Aasia.
Security and judicial issues are the key hurdles in Musharraf’s election campaign.
The former president is said to be concerned about the attitude of the judiciary.
Sources said Musharraf was still unsure whether he would be allowed to contest the elections by the courts, and was particularly awaiting the decision of the election tribunal of the Peshawar High Court on his nomination papers.
Musharraf chose NA-32 Chitral, among other constituencies, due to his faith in the people of the valley, who are much obliged to him over the development work he had executed there, chiefly the long-awaited Lowari Tunnel project, during his presidency.
Syed Miraz, a Chitrali professional temporarily settled in Islamabad, said Chitral was ignored by successive K-P politicians, but Musharraf directly obliged the people of the valley with his discretionary funds. He added that irrespective of his physical presence in Chitral, Musharraf will defeat the so-called local politicians.
It is not for the first time that an outsider is contesting elections from Chitral, as PPP had once successfully fielded Nusrat Bhutto in 1988. However, the same party awarded its ticket to a Karachi-based Piar Ali Allana for the same constituency in 1990, but he was defeated by Shahzada Mohyuddin.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 15th, 2013.