PESHAWAR (APP): The candidates of different political parties and independent heavyweights started approaching strong baradaries (tribes) to get their support to win general elections in 2024 as Peshawar witnessed a tough electoral contest on 5 NA, and 14 PK seats.

Besides veteran politicians and independent candidates, the political stalwarts sought the support of different tribes including Wazir, Mehsud, Khattak, Khalil, Shalmani, Afridi, Mohmand and Safi tribes to national and provincial assemblies seats in their respective areas.

ANP leader, Haji Ghulam Ahmed Bilour, who is contesting election for a record 11 times from Peshawar’s NA-32 ( previously called NA-1) has also started contacting influential tribes and baradaries to get an edge over rival candidates.

Bilour, who had won the election against Benazir Bhutto Shaheed in 1990, is being challenged by Independent candidate Asif Khan, a PTI nominee.

Abidullah Yousafzai of PPP, Hussain Madani of JUIF, Sher Rehman of PMLN and Tariq Mateen of Jumat-e-Islami are also flexing muscles on NA-32 Peshawar.

In the 2018 general election, Shaukat Ali of PTI was elected MNA after defeating Ghulam Bilour. Former prime minister Imran Khan also won the seat in the by-election in 2022 while Bilour was the runner-up.
Political observers said that a tough electoral battle is expected between Ghulam Bilour and independent candidate Asif Khan after former MNA Shoukat Ali quited PTI.

As the February 8, 2024 election is approaching, the candidates contesting against 5 national assembly and 13 Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly seats have accelerated the election campaign and addressed rallies and corner meetings on Sunday.

In the 2018 general election, the politically fertile Peshawar had 14 representatives in the KP Assembly, however, it lost one seat in the wake of fresh delimitation in the 2024 election.

The candidates of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf had won all the five NA seats from Peshawar in the 2018 election. However, three of them are no longer part of the party. The PTI nominees are contesting the polls as independent candidates after it lost its iconic electoral symbol ‘bat’.

Former speaker Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Kiramatullah Chagharmati of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) is contesting against former MNA Noor Alam Khan of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUIF) and ex-MNA Sajid Nawaz of PTI as independent candidate on NA 28 Peshawar-1 in 2024 election.

Former provincial minister Hafiz Hashmat of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and Muhammad Fayyaz Khan of Awami National Party (ANP) are also in the run for NA-28.

Former MNA Arbab Amir Ayub who won the 2018 election on the PTI ticket is again candidate of the PTI as an independent candidate while other frontrunners included former MPA Saqibullah Chamkani of ANP, Akhundzada Irfanullah Shah of JUIF, Malik Amjad Awan of PPP and Ghulam Muhiyuddin of Jumat e Islami on NA 29 Peshawar-11.

In NA-30 Peshawar, former PTI MNA Shandana Gulzar is contesting against Nasir Musazai of JUIF, Arbab Zain Umar of ANP, Raees Khan of PMLN, Kashif Azam of JI and Misbahuddin of PPP.

Nasir Musazai won the polls from the area in 2018 as the candidate of PTI but he joined the JUIF last year. Shandana was elected MNA on a reserved seat for women in 2018.

Similarly on NA-31 Peshawar, former MNA Arbab Sher Ali of PTI is contesting against former federal minister Arbab Alamgir of PPP, Pir Haroon Shah of ANP, Muhammad Saeed Jan of JUIF, Sobia Shahid of PMLN and Imdad Khalil of JI.

Arbab Sher Ali was elected MNA from this constituency in the 2018 general election as a PTI contender. Arbab Alamgir also remained MNA from this constituency in 2008; both were trying to get support from strong baradaries.

Besides billboards and panaflexes, the candidates have also installed posters and banners on all roads, squares, bazaars and streets to attract voters’ attention. Mashallah Jehangi, a hub of printing and advertising businesses in Peshawar attracted roaring business courtesy of the 2024 General Election.

The printers hired extra labourers to meet the pressing demands of the candidates. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, PTI Parliamentarians has emerged as a new political party with leaders like veteran politicians and former Chief Ministers Pervez Khattak and Mahmood Khan who can surprise many on the polling day especially in Nowshera and Swat being their native districts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Translate »