Sunday June 04, 2023

PTI candidate for Deputy Chairman Senate is a wealthy businessman

March 12, 2021

PESHAWAR: Mirza Mohammad Afridi, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf candidate for the office of Deputy Chairman Senate, is a businessman from the Khyber tribal district who was elected Senator as an independent candidate but later joined the ruling party.

The 42-year old Afridi belongs to a well-known family of businessmen owning textile and steel mills and also other businesses not only in Pakistan, but also in Singapore, Indonesia and South Korea.

He had contested the March 2018 election for the Upper House of Parliament on the seats reserved for the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata). He was elected as an independent candidate, but joined the PTI after it formed the government by winning the July 2018 general election. His term as member of the Senate will end in March 2024.

Thereafter, the former Fata, known as newly merged districts after merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in May 2018, won’t have the eight reserved seats in the Senate.

Afridi, who is member of a number of Senate committees, belongs to Bara in Khyber district.

One of his uncles, Mohammad Shah Afridi, had remained a member of parliament in the past. His eldest uncle, the late Haji Nawab Khan, had contested and lost election a number of times for the National Assembly from Khyber.

Mirza Mohammad Afridi is a cousin of Javed Afridi, the owner of Peshawar Zalmi cricket franchise.

He was upbeat about his chances of victory in the election for the Deputy Chairman Senate against Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, the JUI-F leader from Balochistan and a joint candidate of the 11-party opposition alliance, Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM),[ even though the latter has four more members than the PTI if one were to exclude the lone Jamaat-i-Islami Senator who may abstain from the poll. “I want to give glad tidings to the people of ex-Fata that we will win this election,” he was quoted as saying.

Afridi termed his nomination by the PTI to contest for the post of Deputy Chairman Senate as the fulfillment of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s commitment to the people of erstwhile Fata.

If he wins, Afridi will become the first person from the former tribal areas to hold such a high elected office.