PESHAWAR: Though all the newly elected members in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly wore traditional dresses, a few of them looked prominent for their cultural and traditional costumes at the maiden session of the provincial legislature.
Wearing traditional Chitrali cap with a colourful feather, Wazirzada from Kalash kept himself distinctive while sitting with his minority lawmakers on the back benches of the assembly hall. Elected on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) ticket from Kalash valley of mountainous Chitral district, Wazirzada is the first ever person from Kalash community who elected a lawmaker. “This is my privilege to represent my community in the provincial assembly. I feel proud to have worn the traditional cap in the assembly hall,” 34-year old Wazirzada told this scribe.
He maintained the cap was once used by the royal family of erstwhile princely Chitral state. Wazirzada recalled that before entering politics he served his community as a social worker and ran different projects for the welfare of his people. He has done his Master’s in Political Science from the University of Peshawar. He joined politics and the PTI in 2010.
“I want to include Kalash in the list of minority with a separate religion as we have a different culture and religion in Pakistan,” he added. Another prominent lawmaker with unique costumes was Pakhtunyar Khan from Bannu district who was wearing traditional Pashtun turban.
Elected on the PTI ticket from PK-88 Bannu Pakhtunyar Khan’s family has been in politics since long as his grandfather Amir Mukhtar Khan was active member of Khudai Khidmatgar Movement and his father Attaullah Jan Khan was elected to provincial assembly in independent capacity and served as provincial minister in the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) government in 1993.
“This is the tradition of our family to wear turbans on special occasions and representing my family in the assembly is very special to me,” he told this scribe. In 2013 general election, he was the PPP’s candidate and lost by a narrow margin to the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl candidate but this time defeated Zahid Durrani, son of Akram Khan Durrani, by a big margin.
The 37-year old Pakhtunyar Khan did his Master’s in Political Science and has been in politics since student life. His elder brother Asadyar was killed during protest rally in Bannu while he sustained injuries a result of terrorist attack during election campaign in 2013. Though he has recovered from his injuries, he still walks with support of a stick.
Maulana Hidayatur Rehman was elected to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on the ticket of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) from Chitral. From his appearance he is a typical Chitrali but his traditional Chitrali cap made him different from other lawmakers.
The 41-year old Member Provincial Assembly (MPA) belongs to Mastuj area in Chitral and runs a seminary in Chitral city. He received his religious education from Binori Town Madrassa in Karachi and also contested elections for a National Assembly seat from Karachi in 2008.
“Unfortunately our provincial assembly constituencies have been reduced to one and I am the lone MPA for a large population of the remote Chitral district,” he said. He added the provincial government should allocate more development funds for the remote and underdeveloped district. Sahibzada Sanaullah looked different from another colleague by wearing his traditional white Diroji cap.
Elected for the second time from Upper Dir on the PPP ticket, Sanaullah belongs to Sahibzada family of Dir. He usually adjusts his half-tilted cap while speaking on the floor of the assembly.
The MMA minority MPA Ranjeet Singh also looked prominent by wearing his Sikh turban who claimed that he was the first Sikh from Kohat elected to provincial assembly on the quota of religious parties’ alliance.
Interestingly majority of the PTI MPAs had worn Kaptan Peshawari chappal. It became popular after a shoemaker in Peshawar presented it to PTI chief Imran during his visit to the provincial capital in 2013.