PESHAWAR, April 6: Complaints registered by senior activists of different political parties about appointment of juniors and allotment of tickets to new entrants are on the rise across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and many of the ticket-holders have to face their own party people as independent candidates.
Almost all political parties are facing internal problems and their top leaders have to meet frequently to review the situation at least to convince the annoyed workers on withdrawal of nomination papers.
Also, many of such activists showing immediate reaction over these issues have ended years-long association with their parties. It was learnt that in many cases the parties preferred wealthy, influential candidates to their poor senior and sincere activists.
Some of them have also joined the opponent political parties, got prominent offices and even succeeded in getting tickets for contesting general election in constituencies of their choice.
Some of them were so swift that they got tickets within couple of days of their entry into new party. No doubt these people have sizeable vote bank in their respective constituencies and could emerge successful, but getting tickets from the newly-joined parties means that there is no concept of new and old workers.
Of these people, Iftikhar Mohmand of Takht Bahi, who joined Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, got ticket for PK-26 Mardan without any wait for the purpose. Former provincial minister Qazi Asad, who left Awami National Party, joined PML-N and secured ticket for PK-50. Of the new entrants, Wajehuzzaman got ticket for PK-56 and Sardar Jahan for NA-28, who recently said goodbye to Pakistan Muslim League-Q.
In Swat, Dost Mohammad Khan resigned from Pakistan People’s Party, joined PML-N and landed ticket for PK-84. The PPP awarded ticket of National Assembly to Dost Mohammad Khan of Mingora, Swat, who resigned from PML-N.
Likewise, Iftikhar Jhagra resigned from Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf and got PPP ticket for PK-9, Peshawar. There are many others like Sahibzada Sanaullah in Dir and Mr Aziz in Nowshera who recently joined PPP and got tickets.
Women are also moving with similar speed in the race as Ms Shazia Aurangzeb, who remained MPA for five years on PML-N ticket, joined the PPP, was appointed its provincial vice-president and became No 2 in the party’s priority list for reserved seats of National Assembly submitted to the Election Commission of Pakistan. While Asma Alamgir is No 1 on the priority list of PPP for NA seats.
Ms Shazia also got the ticket for general election on NA-9 Mardan where she will face some heavyweights like Awami National Party candidate Amir Haider Khan Hoti, PML-N central senior-vice president Khwaja Mohammad Hoti, etc. She served PML-N for many years, but as Tahira Bukhari resigned from PML-Q in April 2012, she was made provincial chief organiser of the women wing and thus Ms Shazia feeling herself misfit any longer in the party joined PPP.
Former PML-Q MPA Nighat Orakzai was also active member of her party, but fed up with provincial leadership’s attitude joined the PPP. She was appointed provincial vice-president and became No 1 in its priority list for the provincial assembly.
The PML-N women also have serious complaints against their leadership. Some of the senior office-bearers pleading anonymity told Dawn that many of them like Najma Nausherawan, Rahila Suhail and Saleema Ikram were not given top positions on the priority list. They said that two women Tahira Bukhari and Sobia Khan had come from PML-Q and enjoyed full authority to run the affairs.
“Ms Bukhari is No 1 on the priority list for National Assembly seats and Sobia Khan No 3, but the latter was enlisted as No 3 on the provincial assembly list because she was not sure to succeed on the NA seat,” sources said.
Another senior woman leader of PML-N, Shaheen Habibullah, was No 2 on the NA list, but newcomer Memona Mukhtiar, who is said to be a relative of a central leader, was enlisted as No 2 on the NA list. Many of the women said that they did not know Ms Memona because she did not work for the party. They also complained that Nasreen Khattak was given No 2 position in the list, but now her position is No 7, while relatives of the party leaders, including Amina and Ruqaya, were given priority on the list.
“We got congratulations for our nomination, but our position was changed overnight on the priority list, which shocked all of us because we have spent a lot of money and time on strengthening the party for many years,” the women said.
The most vocal seem to be PTI workers who have been complaining against the parliamentary board decision for neglecting seniors in award of tickets. They said that a major chunk of tickets was given to people who had recently joined the PTI. In Peshawar, they are objecting over nomination of Sajid Nawaz for NA-3, Mehmood Jan PK-7, Arbab Jahandad PK-9, Yaseen Khalil PK-5, Saleem Jan PK-1, Asad Gulzar NA-4, Jahanzeb PK-8, etc.