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July 22, 2018

PTI, MMA main contestants in Peshawar’s seven of 13 PA seats


July 22, 2018

PESHAWAR: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) will be the main contenders in seven of the 13 provincial assembly constituencies in Peshawar district.

The Election Commission of Pakistan has suspended election for PK-78 after the martyrdom of Awami National Party (ANP) leader Haroon Bashir Bilour in a suicide attack on July 10.

The PK-66 is the only provincial assembly constituency where the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), ANP, MMA and PTI candidates are considered almost equally strong and political observers opined the winner would win with a narrow margin.

The MMA has fielded Jamaat-e-Islami (JI)’s former provincial minister for Ushar and Zakat Hafiz Hashmat Khan, who had lost the 2013 election by a few hundred votes and will be a strong candidate in the PK-66 constituency.

Both the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) and JI have solid vote-bank in the constituency.

The PPP has nominated its former speaker provincial assembly, Kiramatullah Khan Chagharmatti, who during his party’s rule as coalition partner of ANP completed a number of development schemes in the constituency.

The ANP has put up Liaquat Ali Khan, who enjoys support among the people and cannot be termed a weak candidate.

The Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) has fielded its senior leader Hashim Babar. He is capable of giving a tough time to the rival candidates.

Syed Liaquat Hussain Shah of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Saifullah Khan of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Sami (JUI-S), Syed Abbas Ali Shah of Tehreek Jawanan Pakistan and two independents, Arbab Shehryar Khan and Wisal Khan are in the run. However, the real contest is expected between PTI’s Mehmood Jan and MMA’s Hafiz Hashmat Khan.

For PK-67, the PPP has nominated Razaullah Khan, the brother of former speaker Kiramatullah Chagharmatti, the ANP has put up Malik Naseem Khan while the QWP candidate is Mohammad Shafi. PML-N’s Fazlullah, who recently joined the party after quitting JI, is also in the run. However, the main contest could be between MMA’s Asif Iqbal Daudzai and Arbab Waseem, who recently joined the PTI after quitting the PML-N.

On PK-68, PPP’s Malik Tehmas Khan, who is a former MPA, is considered strong. MMA’s Qari Samiullah Jan and PTI’s former MPA Malik Jahandad Khan also have solid vote-bank in the constituency.

PTI’s former MPA Syed Mohammad Ishtiaq Urmar and MMA’s Khalid Waqar Chamkani are stated to be the main contenders in PK-69. PPP’s Mohammad Sharif and ANP’s Saqibullah Khan Chamkani also have vote-bank in the constituency.

Arbab Mohammad Usman and Nawabzada Shakeel Afridi are contesting the election as independents after failing to get the PTI ticket. They both have pockets of support in PK-69.

For PK-70, former deputy speaker of provincial assembly Khushdil Khan of ANP and former provincial minister Shah Farman of PTI are be the main contenders. In total, nine candidates are running for this seat.

Unlike the other constituencies, in PK-71 the PML-N’s Sifatullah is considered a strong candidate against PTI’s Shah Farman, who is contesting for two provincial assembly seats.

The ANP candidate Ashfaq Ahmad Khalil will be facing the PTI’s Fahim Ahmad in PK-72. The local people termed the ANP candidate stronger than MMA’s Kashif Azam, who is a former minister.

Ashfaq Ahmad Khalil, who had obtained significant number of votes on PPP ticket in the previous election, has quit the party and joined the ANP.

Among 15 candidates for PK-73, the main contestants are PTI’s Taimur Salim Khan Jhagra and MMA’s Maulana Amanullah Haqqani. As many as 32 PTI aspirants had applied for the ticket and had registered protests when it was given to Taimur Jhagra. However, almost all of them later announced support for him.

The PTI and MMA are the main contenders on PK-74.

The MMA has allotted ticket to the former ANP MPA Atifur Rehman and PTI to Pir Fida Mohammad, son of Raja Gul who has support of the local Arbabs despite the fact that Arbab Zarak Khan, the son of the former federal minister Arbab Alamgir Khan is also contesting election from this constituency.

Instead of the MMA, the head of Pakistan Rah-e-Haq party Ibrahim Qasmi, who is a former MPA, is considered strong in PK-75 constituency. Qasmi could fetch more votes than MMA’s Arbab Mohammad Farooq Khan. ANP’s former minister Syed Aqil Shah will also get votes, but all the candidates would have to beat PTI’s Wajidullah Khan to win the seat.

Political observers opined that PPP’s Ziaullah Afridi, ANP’s Hidayatullah Khan and PML-N’s Mohammad Nadim are stronger than PTI’s Asif Khan and MMA’s Behrullah in PK-76.

On PK-77, PPP’s former provincial president Syed Zahir Ali Shah and PTI’s Kamran Bangash will be the main contesters among the total 15 candidates.

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