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Peshawar

July 8, 2018

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PK-65: Mian Iftikhar has an edge over competitors

PESHAWAR: The Awami National Party (ANP) general secretary and former provincial minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain has apparently an edge over his opponents in the upcoming general election as three of his main electoral rivals belong to the same village in constituency PK-65 Nowshera.

In the 2013 general elections, Mian Iftikhar had lost to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate Mian Khaliqur Rehman Khattak by a huge margin in PK-12 Nowshera, which was renamed PK-65 after delimitation.

Hailing from Dag Ismailkhel village, Mian Khaliqur Rehman had lost to Mian Iftikhar in the 2008 election by a small margin when he was contesting on the ticket of Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q).

The PTI has again awarded ticket to Mian Khaliqur Rehman for the July 25 general election. The candidates of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) belong to the same village, Dag Ismailkhel, in Khattaknama area of Nowshera district.

Former Nowshera district nazim, Daud Khattak had quit the PPP prior to the 2013 general election and contested the polls on the ANP ticket both in the general election and the subsequent by-election. He had lost to the PTI candidates Pervez Khattak in the general election and later to his son-in-law, Dr Imran Khattak in the by-election.

He is now contesting on the PPP ticket against ANP’s Mian Iftikhar for PK-65 Nowshera.

His brother Jehanzeb Khattak is still associated with the ANP. He had played an active role in his brother’s election campaigns.

The MMA has fielded former MNA and MPA Engineer Tariq Khattak for PK-65 Nowshera. He also belongs to Dag Ismailkhel and has been associated with different parties before joining the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl and getting the MMA ticket.

Tariq Khattak had defeated Mian Iftikhar in 2002 general election on the provincial assembly seat when he was the PPP candidate.

In the 2008 general election, he had made it to the National Assembly again on the PPP ticket, but prior to 2018 general election he quit the PPP and joined the ANP with the hope that he would get a ticket for the upcoming general election.

But when the ANP awarded ticket to Jamal Khattak of Manki Sharif, he and his family quit the ANP and joined the JUI-F.

He got the MMA ticket on the JUI-F quota for PK-65 Nowshera, but district leadership of Jamaat-e-Islami opposed his candidature and revolted against the MMA decision.

The PK-65 constituency comprises Khattak and non-Khattak areas of Nowshera district. Dag Ismaelkhel is one of the main villages in Khattaknama while Pabbi, Taru Jabba, Dag Besud and Babe-e-Jadeed are non-Khattak areas in the same constituency.

As Mian Iftikhar belongs to Pabbi town, it is believed that he would get sympathy and support of the general voters in the village and union councils located on the main GT Road in Nowshera district.

Compared to the previous elections, the ANP candidates are running their election campaign enthusiastically.

Besides holding corner meetings in his constituency, Mian Iftikhar is addressing the party meetings in other parts of the province as well.

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