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NA-27: PTI in neck-and-neck race with JUI-F, PPP


July 17, 2018

PESHAWAR: With only 10 days left to the general election in the country, the encounter among three main candidates in National Assembly constituency, NA-27 Peshawar-1, is getting close each day.

At least two of them are neck-and-neck. They are so close or equal in popularity in the consistency that it’s impossible at this stage to tell who is winning. The race between them is too close to call.

However, a quick visit to the constituency on Sunday by this scribe showed that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate has an edge because no one has been able to pull ahead of him.

Nevertheless, it is difficult to say he will secure a “hands down” victory, or by a large margin without expending a lot of effort.

The NA-27 Peshawar-1, previously listed as NA-2 and then after delimitation in 2002 as NA-3, traditionally belongs to no political party.

In the first democratically acknowledged general election held in 1970, the areas now making the jurisdiction of the constituency, were part of the National Assembly West Pakistan, NW-2, Peshawar-II, Ghulam Faruque Khan Khattak of the National Awami Party (NAP) had won it. He was a politician, economist, bureaucrat and industrialist. He was the founder chairman of Faruque Group of Industries.

In the 1977 general election, the people voted for Arbab Mohammad Jehangir Khan, who contested on the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

In the 1985 non-party polls, an insignificant political figure and independent candidate Muhammad Salim Khan won from the constituency.

In 1988 Khan Bahadur Khan of the PPP stood victorious and in 1990 election Arbab Jehangir Khan, who had joined Awami National Party (ANP) just before the election, returned to the National Assembly from the constituency.

In 1993 Arbab Jehangir Khan joined PPP and contested against his first cousin, Abdur Rehman Khan of Kafoordheri village affiliated to the ANP. Arbab Jehangir this time, too, returned to the assembly from the constituency. In 1997 Arbab Jehangir on the ANP ticket again won the seat.

During the delimitation carried out for 2002 general election, the constituency was listed as NA-3 Peshawar-III and the areas falling in three major parts of Daudzai, Barozai and Khalisa were included in the new constituency.

Qari Fayyazur Rehman Alvi of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) won in 2002 by securing 33,500 votes. Kiramatullah Khan Chagarmatti of the PPP polled 18,900 votes as runner-up. Late Arbab Ayub Jan of the National Alliance remained third by getting 8,838 votes. Incumbent KP Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) could get 5,956 vote onlys.

In the 2008 general election, Noor Alam Khan of the PPP won with 27,038 votes in a close contest with Muhammad Hashim Babar of the ANP, who bagged 26,201 ballots.

A religious madrassa teacher, Aziz-ud-Din of the MMA, got 17,383 and Iqbal Zafar Jhagra of the PML-N had got 12,096 votes.

In 2013 polls, Sajid Nawaz of the PTI won it with 66,500 votes against Ghulam Ali of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) who got 38,600 votes. Noor Alam Khan, who contested on the PPPP ticket ended up in the third position with 22,045 votes.

During the delimitation of 2018, NA-27 (Peshawar-I) was carved out from areas acquired from NA-2 (Peshawar-II) and NA-3 (Peshawar-III).

Palusi, Attuzai, Palusi Maqdarzai and Palusi Talarzai, have been acquired from NA-2 (Peshawar-II), and Eid Gah Colony, Hassan Garhi, Tableeghi Markaz, Darmangi, Irrigation Colony Warsak Road, Mathra (excluding Regi Lalma and Regi Ufatazai), Mahal Salu, Bunyadi, Isakhel Hamid, Larama, Babuzai, Khazana, and Haryana Payan from the former NA-3 have been included in NA-27 Peshawar-I.

It has now become a perfect combination of the rural and urban electorate with total voters 3,37,329 including 1,96,977 male voters and 1,40,352 female.

In total, 254 polling stations with 131 for males, 106 for females and 17 combined polling stations would be set up in the constituency.

Provincial assembly constituencies PK-66, PK-67 and three union councils (UCs) of PK-68, Haryana, Khazana and Gulbela, PK-76’s UC Hassan Garhi-2, some portions of UC Shahibagh, Babu Garhi, Behari Colony from PK-74 are also included in the constituency.

For July 25 elections, 10 candidates, including Noor Alam Khan, this time on PTI ticket, former senator Ghulam Ali of the MMA, Asma Alamgir of PPP, Arbab Tahir Nadeem of ANP, Sobia Shahid from PML-N, Amjad Ali of Qaumi Watan Party (QWP), and Sidra Faheem, Shakil Abid, Faqir Muhammad and Naveed Ali, all independents, are in the run in the constituency.

The real competition is seemingly between Noor Alam Khan, Ghulam Ali and Asma Alamgir.

Asma Alamgir is mainly targeting urban areas around her hometown Tehkal, said a voter Jamil Khan. He added that Ghulam Ali is also intensively running his campaign in the constituency.

However, despite many disadvantages, change of party being one of these, Noor Alam Khan is in a better position so far, Abdullah, a resident of Charsadda Road, said. Noor Alam belongs to Daudzai tribe based in the area for over 300 years, he added.

A political activist, Gul Muhammad, however, said the race among the three is so close that anyone could finish first.

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