Becoming dependent: Parties scramble to woo independents

Councillors announce allegiance to political forces in different areas


Our Correspondent June 26, 2015
Pervez Khattak in a meeting with K-P Information Minister Mushtaq Ghani among others at the CM House in Peshawar on Friday, June 26, 2015. PHOTO: EXPRESS

PESHAWAR: Abiding by the Election Commission of Pakistan’s directives, independent district and tehsil councillors are joining different political parties.

Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, his cabinet colleagues and MPAs are trying their best to garner the support of these individuals. By gaining their allegiance, political parties could strengthen their positions in union councils through reserved seats for youths, women, labourers and non-Muslims.

Khattak on Friday welcomed an independently elected councillor from Abbottabad, Ali Khan Jadoon, who announced joining Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in the presence of Minister for Information Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani.

Swabi

Mohammad Asad Zaman Sher, elected as a councillor from Lahor in Swabi, announced his decision to join the Awami National Party.

Asad is the son of the late Sher Zaman Sher who served as Swabi district nazim from 2001 to 2003 and also remained provincial minister for two terms. Asad announced joining ANP during a meeting with the party’s Swabi district president Haji Amir Rahman and general secretary Mohammad Islam Khan.

ANP’s strength in Lahor tehsil is now three. Two other independent councillors from Maneri union council (UC), namely Iqbal Zada and Wahid Shah, have announced that they will join Jamaat-e-Islami.

The announcement was made during a press conference in the presence of the party’s district chief and former MNA Advocate Muhammad Usman Khan. Meanwhile, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl affiliated councillor Mohammad Farooq from Shah Mansoor UC announced his support for JI in Swabi tehsil, thus increasing the strength of the latter party to five.

Lakki Marwat
Two independent tehsil council members formally joined JUI-F on Friday, increasing the strength of the party to 14 seats out of 24 seats in Sarai Naurang tehsil of Lakki Marwat district.

A seven-member jirga of JUI-F members met disgruntled party workers and newly-elected tehsil councilor Shaista Khan and ensured their demands would be fulfilled. The jirga comprised Marwat Qaumi Jirga chief Aslam Khan Essa Khel, JUI-F Lakki Marwat Ameer Maulana Abdul Rahim, former MNA Nasir Muhmmad Khan Midad Khel and nazim slot hopeful Qari Rehmatullah.

The jirga extended its invitation which was accepted by Shaista.

Adnan Khan, an independent councillor from Khero Khel Pakha UC also announced he would join JUI-F.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 27th, 2015.