PESHAWAR: The Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) would launch its election campaign today by holding a public meeting in Mathra village near the provincial capital.
QWP head Aftab Sherpao, provincial president Sikandar Hayat Sherpao and other leaders are expected to join the public gathering at Mathra.
The meeting is being organized by Hashim Babar, a QWP leader who served on senior federal government positions and entered politics after retirement. He was earlier part of the Awami National Party (ANP) and had contested election on its ticket from National Assembly constituency, NA-3 Peshawar and lost narrowly. He was also briefly associated with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) before joining the QWP.
Talking to The News, Hashim Babar said he wanted to contest the coming election on the QWP ticket from his native constituency. He added that the QWP leadership would make decision about the award of party tickets to candidates next month.
It was learnt that Hashim Babar is likely to contest for the provincial assembly seat instead of the National Assembly this time. He would be a candidate from the PK-66 Peshawar constituency, which was earlier known as PK-7. The seat was won by PTI candidate Mahmood Jan in the 2013 general election.
The QWP has 10 MPAs in the present Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly. However, three of its MPAs quit the party in recent months after enjoying all perks and benefits as lawmakers for more than four and a half years. None left the party when it was twice in power as a junior partner in the PTI-led coalition government.
Those who parted company with QWP include Ibrar Tanoli, who was elected from Mansehra district and was made a minister by the party when it formed a coalition government with the PTI. He has now joined the Jamaat-i-Islami.Sultan Mohammad Khan, the QWP MPA from Charsadda district, also left the party. He has reportedly joined the PTI.
The third MPA who abandoned the QWP is Meraj Humayun Khan, who was elected on the reserved seat for women and belongs to Swabi district. She twice remained MPA on the party ticket and has now joined the PTI apparently in the hope of getting its ticket for again becoming a lawmaker.