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August 9, 2013

Polls defeat diminishes Muqam’s role in politics


August 9, 2013

PESHAWAR: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz stalwart Amir Muqam has played an active role in Pakistan’s mainstream politics during the last 10 years, but defeat in the May 11 election diminished his role in the national politics.
He wielded power in the Musharraf regime from 2002 to 2007. He was a powerful federal minister and a trusted Musharraf friend who influenced politics in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa due to his ability to reach out to people across the province. He had almost run a government parallel to the tuling MMA in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in that period triggering controversies.
He was active in politics from 2008-2013, first from the platform of PML-Q and then PML-N.
Amir Muqam was blindsided by the election results. He contested on one National Assembly and two provincial assembly seats and lost on all. He has to blame his decision not to contest election from his native Shangla district and to test his popularity in the neighbouring Swat valley, where he had carried out development works.
He lost to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Salimur Rahman from NA-30 Swat, besides suffering defeat on PK-80 and PK-82. His younger brother Dr Ibadullah won the lone National Assembly seat, NA-31, from Shangla. Amir Muqam secured victory on this seat in 2002 and 2008 and could have easily won again in the general election had he decided to contest from this constituency.
Now his brother and MNA from Shangla, Dr Ibadullah, desires to vacate his seat to enable him to make it to the assembly. That will allow him to re-enter national politics and play his active part in politics at a time when his party is in the power at the Centre even though Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has appointed him advisor on communications.
Amir Muqam confirmed that his brother wishes to vacate the seat to allow him re-entry in the parliament, but he has yet to agree to it. “He is insisting to vacate the seat for me, but I have not agreed to the idea so far,” Amir Muqam told The News. He

said his defeat in Swat against weak candidates came as a surprise to him. PTI won the two National Assembly seats and five out of the seven provincial assembly seats from Swat. The party also secured a considerable number of seats from across the province where it managed to form a coalition government.
Amir Muqam does not want to strip his brother of the Shangla seat in the National Assembly but this seems to be the only option that could enable him to return to the parliament. Dr Ibadullah had remained district nazim of this remote district. However, this is the first time he won a seat in the National Assembly.

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