PESHAWAR: As the by-elections near, major political parties in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa have forged political alliances on the five National Assembly and four provincial assembly seats to be re-contested.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) have also worked out a seat adjustment plan. JI Provincial Information Secretary Israrullah told The Express Tribune on Monday, “We have made a seat adjustment deal with PTI. They will support our candidate on PK-27 and we will support their candidate on the rest of the seats.”
PK-27 has been vacant after the assassination of MPA Imran Mohmand in June. Mohmand contested the elections as an independent candidate.
Earlier, K-P Chief Minister Pervez Khattak had announced that coalition partners JI, Qaumi Watan Party and Awami Jamhoori Ittehad Pakistan will support PTI candidates in the by-polls.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Peoples Party, which was a coalition partner in the previous Awami National Party (ANP)-led government, is yet to take a decision on its candidates in the by-polls. Similarly, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has not decided its candidates either.
However, the ANP and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) will be participating in the polls and have formed an alliance. JUI-F will support ANP on NA-1, NA-5 and PK-23 while ANP will support JUI-F on NA-13, NA-25, NA-27 and PK-70.
ANP leaders are also busy in garnering support for their candidate on NA-1, Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, from religious political parties which previously contested under the platform of the Muttahidda Deeni Mahaz.
It is expected that neither PPP nor PML-N will field candidates on NA-1. Instead, both parties are likely to announce support for Bilour who is said to have cordial relations with PML-N chief Mian Nawaz Sharif as well as the PPP’s top leadership.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 23rd, 2013.