PK-45, Abbottabad II: PTI eyes governor’s ‘family seat’ amid internal rifts

Published: April 24, 2014
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Mehtab Khan Abbasi, Dr Azhar Jadoon. PHOTO: FILE

Mehtab Khan Abbasi, Dr Azhar Jadoon. PHOTO: FILE

Ali Asghar Khan, Shamoon Yar Khan. PHOTO: FILE
Mehtab Khan Abbasi, Dr Azhar Jadoon. PHOTO: FILE
ABBOTABAD: 

Putting deepening differences within the party to one side, the senior leadership of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is forced to come together to devise a policy to win PK-45, Abbottabad II with a consensus candidate in the by-elections.

The seat fell vacant after the resignation of Mehtab Ahmed Khan Abbasi who was elevated to the office of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) governor last week. The Election Commission of Pakistan is expected to announce an election schedule for the constituency within the next few days.

The Abbasi seat

Considered an Abbasi tribe stronghold, Mehtab and his family members have been winning the seat repeatedly over the last six elections.

During the May 2013 elections, Mehtab defeated PTI’s candidate with a 12,000 vote margin. PTI, however, attributed the defeat to an internal breakdown. One of their office bearers, Nazir Abbasi, revolted against the party and contested the election against PTI’s nominee, bagging over 8,000 votes.

According to party insiders, the discord within the party started in Abbottabad district when PTI’s sitting MNA from NA-17, Dr Azhar Jadoon, and MPA Sardar Muhammad Idrees, joined the party, leaving Tehreek-e-Suba Hazara and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl, respectively. During the intra-party election, each pitted their own groups against the rest. However, their candidates lost to the group of Sardar Sher Bahadur, the current president of the district chapter.

According to party sources, Jadoon’s membership remained suspended for sometime after he challenged the results. The matter and the internal differences were later resolved, at least on the surface. However, the wedge between old party workers and those perceived to be ‘new entrants’ remained.

Party chief Imran Khan has yet to iron out differences within party ranks in Abbottabad, and the upcoming by-election on PK-45 has posed another challenge for the ruling party that is desperate to win the seat.

A worthy opponent?

Another challenge the party faces is to field a consensus candidate against a contestant that will have the backing of the governor’s family and other political aides. As PTI has already tested the political stature of its candidates like Abdul Rehman Abbasi and the political clout of its disgruntled office bearer Nazir Abbasi, it is left with no option but to emerge with a consensus candidate.

A senior party leader, requesting anonymity, told The Express Tribune their probable choice is going to be PTI’s regional president Ali Asghar Khan. Since Ali Asghar enjoys great respect among party workers and is equally acceptable to the party’s lawmakers, the senior party leader disclosed that many were lobbying for his selection.

From urban Abbottabad and with no connections with local communities, Ali Asghar has managed to carve a niche for himself, mostly with the help of his NGO Omar Asghar Foundation. The NGO has several developmental projects in Bakot and surrounding areas, especially after the 2005 earthquake.

Asghar is the son of Tehrik-e-Istiqlal’s founder Air Marshal (retd) Asghar Khan and younger brother of the late social scientist and federal minister Omar Asghar Khan.

Three other aspirants, Abdul Rehman Abbasi, Nazir Abbasi and Raja Abdul Mubeen, are also lobbying for the PTI ticket. According to party sources, Chairman Imran Khan is likely to select one candidate to field at a meeting in Islamabad on Thursday (today).

From the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz camp, Mehtab’s son and former MPA, Sardar Shamoon Yar Khan, his cousin Sardar Kashif Fida Khan and Sardar Ishtiaq Ahmed are vying for the PK-45 ticket.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 24th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • Ahmed
    Apr 24, 2014 - 12:47PM

    ET what do you mean governor’s ‘family seat’? you are portraying like PK-45 is not a seat but a Land which is owned by PML-N Sardar Mehtab Khan Abbasi.

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  • rani
    Apr 24, 2014 - 5:58PM

    @Ahmed
    From the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz camp, Mehtab’s son and former MPA, Sardar Shamoon Yar Khan, his cousin Sardar Kashif Fida Khan and Sardar Ishtiaq Ahmed are vying for the PK-45 ticket

    it is indeed family seat :-)

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  • hamid naseem bangash
    Apr 24, 2014 - 11:05PM

    i think that we hazarawaals are the part of biased-politics/hypocratical-politics,so every candidate at Pk-45 is jadoon or abbassi,is there no space for visionary-politics???is there no space for visionary family in hazara or Pakistan??Asghar Khan is the symbol of Principles,he survived as a Night-flyer during 1965-war,he is veteran ,honest&patriotic Pakistani such as Noor Khan/M.M.Alam,so his son Ali Asghar Khan worked during Earthquake in whole Hazara+Nothern Areas so we have need a worker/leader like that who think beyond his consituency or tehsil/district,so i can say confidently Ali Asghar Khan can change the scenerio for those workers and leaders who work does’t for biased politics in hazara ,Ali Asghar Khan is honour of hazara who merged his political party for the change of Country and hope of poor-society who survives his life under-poverty-line,so every hazarawaal has to show his power for change in election at pk45..hamid naseem bangash

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  • Haseeb
    Apr 26, 2014 - 3:09AM

    Sardar Mehtab is a respectable person. His family deserves the ticket for this seat.

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  • shafeeq
    May 3, 2014 - 4:15PM

    i hope inshallah pti will win and make new history fo hazzara people….

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  • yaseen khan
    May 21, 2014 - 9:35AM

    i hop p.t.i wil win and make new hazara

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  • abbasi
    Jun 4, 2014 - 1:10PM

    kindly write correct names while writing such important information….Sardar Mehtaab & his family doesn’t belong to Abbasi tribe at all.

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  • grain of truth
    Jun 5, 2014 - 2:57PM

    question for the PTI supporters. the PTI has been in majority and are the ruling party in KPK, Can any of you advise what major projects have been inaugurated/started by the PTI?? they will be judged on its promises, what promises have been kept, how have they broken the family politics within our society, as the people they are choosing are the same old ones, no new faces??

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  • Aurangzeb Awan(Kurli Abbottabad)
    Jun 6, 2014 - 12:46PM

    Yes of course family allegation on Saradar Mehtab is acceptable up to some extent.because if we over look previous elections, he always focused on his family which is not fair.Sardar Fida Muhammad Khan,Sardar shamoon yar are some examples of family politics.

    In my opinion PML N lost national assembly seat on various grounds.As per Mehtab Sb performance is concerned in last 24 to 28 years in his constituency,i personally think no major project or any progressive work had been done in his constituency.our area is still backward.

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