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Most opposition parties finalise candidates for Mardan mayor slot

November 19, 2021

MARDAN: The majority of the opposition parties have finalized candidates for the slot of the mayor of Mardan while the ruling party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has failed to act due to the grouping in the party.

Awami National Party (ANP) has allotted the ticket to former district nazim Himayatullah Mayar; Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl to former MPA Maulana Amanat Shah, Pakistan People’s Party to former naib district nazim Asad Ali Kashmiri, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz to Syed Inayat Shah Bacha and Jamaat-e-Islami to former naib tehsil nazim of Mardan, Mushtaq Seemab.

Sources in the PTI said that the party has been divided into two groups in the Mardan district.

One is led by provincial minister Mohammad Atif Khan and has two members — provincial assembly members Zahir Shah Toru and Tufail Anjum.

They added that the other MPAs including Iftikhar Ali Mashwani, Amir Farzand Khan, Abdus Salam Afridi and Malak Shaukat have started supporting Federal Minister for Defense Pervez Khattak. More than six candidates have submitted nomination papers for the slot of mayorship of Mardan tehsil from the PTI.

The sources added that three candidates including Mohammad Ayaz Khan, Tariq Mahmood Aryani, Lakhkar Khan are affiliated to Mohammad Atif Khan group while Sajid Iqbal Mohmand and Kaleemullah Toru are from the other group.

Naeem Anwar, a former district council member, has submitted nomination papers but he is not affiliated with any group.

Five union councils of the provincial constituency of Mohammad Atif Khan have been included in Mardan tehsil while two union councils of Amir Farzand Khan, one union council of Iftikhar Ali Mashwani constituency while entire constituency of Abdul Salam Afridi and Zahir Shah Toru have been included in Mardan tehsil.

The sources added that a few days ago Minister Mohammad Atif Khan had called a meeting of those candidates who had submitted nomination papers for five tehsils of Mardan. MPA Iftikhar Ali Mashwani also called a meeting of those candidates at his residence who had submitted nomination papers.

They added that Mohammad Atif Khan allegedly wanted to allot the party ticket to Tariq Mahmood Aryani for the slot of the mayor of Mardan tehsil because Tariq Aryani is very close to him. The source added Atif Khan group had allotted ticket to Naeem Khan in the Cantonment Board election. Only Iftikhar Ali Mashwani has held a successful workers convention for the Local Government election in the Mardan district. Most of the opposition party’s candidates have started campaigning for the upcoming local government election.

Observers believe that there is no strong and popular candidate with the PTI to contest the election against ANP candidate Himayatullah Mayar who has remained a district nazim and member of National Assembly from the Mardan district.

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