PESHAWAR: Defections from the JUI-F enabled the alliance of the PTI, JI and the Saifullah family-led PPP to win the election for the District Nazim and Deputy Nazim in Lakki Marwat.
Four district councillors - Khalid Khan, Ali Gul, Aftab Khan and Maulana Asghar Ali - elected on the JUI-F ticket defected and voted for the candidates for Nazim and Deputy Nazim put up by the PTI-JI-PPP alliance. The deal was struck by the Saifullah brothers - Humayun Saifullah, Salim Saifullah and Anwar Saifullah - when they contacted these four district council members through former MNA Naseer Mohammad Khan, who wasn’t happy in the JUI-F due to policies of the party leadership.
Following the deal, these four JUI-F members of the district council voted for PPP’s Ashfaq Khan and PTI’s Arab Khan for the post of district nazim and deputy nazim, respectively. Their votes proved crucial in clinching victory for these candidates and inflicting defeat on the JUI-F nominees. Insiders and JUI-F activists alleged that the Saifullahs agreed to pay a large amount, some said Rs10.3 million), to each of the four JUI-F defectors to cover their cost of contesting and winning election. However, this piece of information could not be confirmed.
The JUI-F had fielded Samiullah Mujahid for the district nazim, but he wasn’t a popular and strong candidate and lost to PPP’s Ashfaq Khan, who was basically the nominee of the Saifullah family. Naseer Mohammad Khan and certain other politicians had proposed the name of Maulana Asghar Ali as the JUI-F candidate for district nazim, but it was reportedly shot down by the party head Maulana Fazlur Rahman.
This is the second time the Saifullahs played their cards well to inflict defeat on the JUI-F after having lost to its candidates in the May 2013 general election.