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July 17, 2018

Namesakes cause ‘trouble’ to Nowshera’s main candidates


July 17, 2018

PESHAWAR: The namesakes have become a headache for the main contenders, particularly for former chief minister Pervez Khattak, in the general election in Nowshera district.

At least four candidates from different political parties named Pervez are contesting for one National Assembly and three provincial assembly seats in Nowshera. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has fielded the former chief minister Pervez Khattak for one National Assembly seat, NA-25, and two Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly constituencies PK-61 and PK-64 of Nowshera in the July 25 polls.

For NA-25, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has awarded ticket to a wealthy man Khan Pervez Khan, commonly known as Dubdab Khan (an influential person). He had recently joined the PPP and is reportedly using all his resources in the election campaign.

A contractor of coalmines, Khan Pervez Khan had developed differences with Pervez Khattak when some of his mines were declared illegal and closed by the previous PTI-led provincial government. It is said that Khan Pervez had good relations with former provincial minister Ziaullah Afridi, who was expelled by the PTI when he was arrested by the KP Ehtesab Commission on corruption charges. Ziaullah Afridi later joined the PPP and on his advice Khan Pervez Khan also joined the party after meeting Asif Ali Zardari in Islamabad.

Khan Pervez and his family have strong roots in Ziarat Kaka Sahib, Badrashi, Nizampur and other villages in Khattaknama in Nowshera. He is said to have attracted most of the PTI voters in these localities.

Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA)’s Pir Zulifiqar Shah and Awami National Party (ANP)’s Malik Juma Khan are also considered among the main contestants for NA-25. Former PTI MNA Siraj Mohammad Khan is contesting on the PML-Nawaz ticket for the same seat.

Pervez Khattak as the PTI candidate will face ANP’s Pervez Ahmad Khan for the provincial assembly seat, PK-61. He had lost the 2013 election by a low margin against the then PTI candidate Qurban Ali Khan.

A resident of Misri Banda village, Pervez Ahmad Khan was elected from this constituency to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly in the 2008 election. His father late Wali Mohammad Khan was twice elected to the National Assembly on the ANP ticket.

There were at least nine aspirants from the PTI to get ticket for PK-61, but Pervez Khattak declared himself a candidate from this constituency.

He has been facing problems from his party workers during the election campaign. A tough contest is expected between Pervez Khattak and ANP’s Pervez Ahmad Khan in this provincial constituency.

The real trouble though for Pervez Khattak is his namesake Alhaj Pervez Khattak in his native constituency, PK-64. The similar names have confused not only the voters, but also the media and other institutions.

Even in the scrutiny of nomination papers, former chief minister Pervez Khattak was dubbed in print and electronic media as defaulter.

Alhaj Pervez Khattak is new to electoral politics and had joined Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) a year ago. He got the MMA ticket for PK-64 to challenge the former chief minister.

Alhaj Pervez Khattak, a resident of Khaisri village in Nowshera, enjoys good reputation in the area. The former chief minister Pervez Khattak’s village Manki Sharif is also located in this constituency.

The ANP has fielded Shahid Khan Khattak, who comes from the same village to which former chief minister belongs. Like the last general election, a tough contest is expected between PTI and ANP candidates in upcoming polls.

The PPP has awarded ticket to Mian Yusuf Jamal Shah for this constituency. He belongs to the influential family of late Mian Jamal Shah from Ziarat Kaka Sahib.

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