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March 6, 2018

PML-N emerges as beneficiary party from KP in Senate election

National

March 6, 2018

PESHAWAR: The Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) is one of the major beneficiary parties in the Senate election from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as it managed to secure two seats though it didn’t have the numbers to achieve this feat.

Though the PML-N win on the general seat was sure because of its numerical strength, having 15 members in the assembly, it caused a surprise by managing to win the technocrat seat with the support of MPAs from other parties.

On the general seat the PML-N-backed Pir Sabir Shah was declared successful. He bagged 15 votes and his party had the same number of legislators in the assembly.

However, the party candidate on technocrats seat Dilawar Khan also emerged victorious by securing 42 votes.

The PML-N had entered into an electoral alliance with Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and Awami National Party (ANP), both having seven and five members, respectively, in the assembly, thus raising the tally of vote of the three parties to 27. The party managed at least 15 votes extra for winning the technocrat seat.

Dilawar Khan, a little known political figure from Mardan district, was perhaps chosen for the contest because of his wealth, though the party had many old stalwarts who were ignored.

Pir Sabir Shah, hailing from a religious family of Syeds from Sirikot area in Haripur district of the Hazara division, was born in 1955.

He received early education at his village school, received bachelor’s degree from the Government College Abbottabad and master’s degree from University of Peshawar.

Sabir Shah started his political career by contesting and winning the 1985 elections as an independent candidate. He then joined the Pakistan Muslim League. He remained loyal to the party and won elections in 1988, 1990, 1993 and 1997, contesting from his native constituency in Haripur.

He served as the 18th chief minister of the province from October 20, 1993 to February 25, 1994. Sabir Shah remained the party provincial president for a long time till he was replaced by Amir Muqam about a year ago.

Dilawar Khan, on the other hand, is a retired customs officer. He is said to be in the lucrative business of tobacco and is considered very close to PML-N provincial President Amir Muqam.

Though the party leaders like Pir Sabir Shah and Amir Muqam could not be contacted to get their version despite making repeated phone calls on their cellphone numbers, a PML-N leader told The News on condition of anonymity that the extra votes were obtained from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MPAs.

He alleged Dilawar Khan personally made the deal to secure the votes.

A rich person like Dilawar Khan was awarded the ticket as getting the Senate vote for an ordinary candidate was almost impossible, otherwise PML-N had many committed and senior workers, he added, pointing out that Rehmat Salam Khattak, Arbab Khizer Hayat and others were among the aspirants for the ticket.

How the party managed such a large number of votes substantiated the allegations of horse-trading in the Senate election.

After the Pakistan People’s Party, the PML-N was the major beneficiary of alleged horse-trading in the Senate poll in the province.

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