Wednesday April 24, 2024

Minority candidate on general seat determined to contest despite odds

By Riffatullah
July 17, 2018

PESHAWAR: A minority man is among the 16 candidates contesting election for the general seat for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly in Peshawar. Radesh Singh and five other candidates are contesting election as independents for PK-75 in Peshawar. Besides these six independents, 10 candidates are running for the polls on the tickets of various political parties. The candidates of the major political parties included former squash champion Qamar Zaman of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz. Former sports minister Syed Aqil Shah is the candidate of the Awami National Party.

Arbab Muhammad Farooq Jan is the candidate of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal. Misbahuddin is contesting election on the ticket of the Pakistan People’s Party and Malik Wajidullah Khan is the candidate of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.

Radesh Singh, the only minority candidate contesting election on general seat for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, is determined to contest election despite threats. The candidate for the PK-75 constituency said he had received a threatening call not to contest the election. The 49-year old has a computer sale and services business. He is father of three sons. Radesh Sigh was elected councillor in 2015 on the minority seat from Kotla Mohsin Khan securing 1697 votes. He said Pakistanis start politics since childhood due to a myriad of problems in the country. Radesh Singh said lives of the people in KP were difficult and the lack of sincere leadership for resolving the problems of masses and specifically the issues of minority communities forced him to join politics.

Radesh Singh started active politics in 1999 from the platform of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and remained affiliated with the party till 2011.

“After quitting PTI, I decided not to join any political party and resolved to work for minorities, women, children and disabled persons,” he said. He had filed papers for contesting the 2002 election of town nazim, but withdrew his candidature in support of the ANP candidate Haroon Bilour.

He said he was getting a positive response from public during his election campaign. He was not expecting such response due to the conservative nature of the society. Radesh claimed to have received a threatening call a few days back but had told the caller that he would not cow down. He hoped to win the seat on July 25. He said the police had offered him security but he declined the offer.