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August 10, 2019

MPA-elect from Khyber credits family with victory


August 10, 2019

PESHAWAR: Member Provincial Assembly (MPA)-elect Bilawal Afridi gave all the credit to his father Alhaj Shahjee Gul Afridi and other family elders for his victory in the recently held election for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly in the merged tribal districts.

Elected as an independent candidate from PK-106 Khyber, Bilawal Afridi has joined Balochistan Awami Party (BAP). He has been nominated as parliamentary party leader of his party in the provincial assembly.

Bilawal Afridi’s cousin Shafiq Sher Afridi and independent MPA-elect from Mohmand district, Abbas-ur-Rehman has also joined the BAP. The party would be able to elect a female from Landikotal tehsil on women reserved seat in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly.

Born on August 19, 1993, Bilawal Afridi had submitted nomination papers for National Assembly seat from Khyber in the 2018 general election. His nomination papers were was challenged by his opponent and he could not contest the polls.

“I started taking active part in politics in 2015 when my father started campaign for the merger of erstwhile Fata with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” he told The News. He added that implementation of the 25th Constitutional Amendment was the core agenda of his election campaign in the election.

He said the merger of tribal areas with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would provide basic facilities, human, legal and civil rights to the people of the underdeveloped areas.

A businessman by profession, Bilawal Afridi did his graduation from London, UK, in international business. He has been running his business after completing his education. For business activities, he has to stay often in Karachi and other big cities of Pakistan, but now he says he would give most of his time to his constituency.

“Like my father, I have to visit my constituency on weekly basis to remain in close contact with my people,” he said, adding that the electorate had voted for him and his family for maintaining close contact with the voters and for undertaking the welfare services. He said that provision of clean drinking water, gas and electricity to the people was his top priority.

“I want more schools and hospitals in my constituency,” he said. He said that their Alhaj Karwan group had joined the ruling BAP to manage more facilities and development projects for their people.

To a question, Bilawal Afridi said that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidates were their main rivals in the election so they opted for BAP.

“We consider politics service to the humanity. The people voted us for our welfare activities in our area,” he said. He added that they would serve all the people irrespective of their political affiliation.

Bilawal Afridi had obtained 12,814 votes in PK-106 Khyber where his main rival Amir Mohammad Khan of the PTI got 5,930 votes. A PTI dissident Khan Shaid Afridi secured 6,297 votes. The Jamaat-e-Islami candidate Shah Faisal Afridi secured 4,244 votes and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F)’s Ghufranullah got 2,423 votes. The Awami National Party (ANP) candidate Naheed Afridi, one of the two women in the merged district who contested polls from a general seat, obtained 194 votes only.

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