PESHAWAR, May 12: Major political parties are in a shock over the defeat of their candidates in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and described the result of general elections in the province as totally unexpected.
Insiders said that the worst-affected are the Pakistan People’s Party, Awami National Party and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, for whom the results are against their expectations.
Leaders of these parties in individual stature raise fingers at the results and say that the issue will be discussed in their meetings to be convened soon. Most of the losing candidates kept their phones off and some of them preferred to avoid saying anything on record, adding it would be a violation of the parties’ disciplines.
PML-N won only five seats of National Assembly from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which includes that of Umer Ayub, Murtaza Javaid Abbasi, Sardar Mohammad Yousuf, Capt (retired) Safdar and Dr Ibadur Rehman. While it won 12 provincial assembly seats from the province. The most frustrating loss for the PML-N was that of its top leaders, including central general secretary Iqbal Zafar Jhagra who lost to Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf candidate Sajid Nawaz from NA-3, Peshawar.
Similarly, the defeat of Amir Muqam is very disappointing for the party who lost to PTI candidate Saleemur Rehman on NA-30, Swat. Though, Mr Muqam’s brother Dr Ibad won his National Assembly seat from his home district, Shangla, by defeating Awami National Party’s Haji Sadeed, nobody expected that a new entrant Saleemur Rehman would manage to win because he had recently resigned from the PPPP over a dispute on ticket allotment. Mr Saleem is son of a former federal minister late Dr Mehboobur Rehman.
Another central leader of PML-N Sardar Mehtab and provincial general secretary Rehmat Salam Khattak also failed to win their National Assembly seats. However, Mr Mehtab won one provincial assembly seat from his home district.
“We (the PML-N) had fielded candidates on almost all the seats of provincial and National Assembly and the result is beyond our expectations,” said Salam Khattak while talking to Dawn on Sunday.
He said that his party had won 12 provincial assembly seats. He said that his party had also held mammoth public meetings, especially in Southern districts, but the result was very disappointing for it.
“We are not satisfied with the results because women votes were more than expected,” he said and added that it could also be reaction to the failure of previous government to serve the people. He said that the main issue of the people was restoration of peace and development in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, but ANP-led coalition government did nothing for the welfare of the people during its five years tenure.
Likewise, the PPP is also not satisfied with the results and plans to convene a meeting to review the situation.
A member of its provincial executive council pleading anonymity said that it faced the embarrassment due to wrong distribution of tickets. “The first mistake was allotment of tickets to former MNAs and MPAs because they had already lost confidence of the party workers during the five years in government,” he commented.
Provincial coordination secretary Syed Ayub Shah, when contacted, said that there were many factors behind the PPP defeat and the main reason was that Imran Khan had raised forceful voice for brining a change in the fate of poor and against corruption.
“Our party has no proper organisational structure to attract the workers through democratic process. This election should be enough for the leadership to open its eyes and strengthen the party democratically otherwise the workers would move to other parties,” he observed.
“We will soon convene a meeting to discuss the situation and mistakes which led to our failure,” said provincial vice-president of PPP Ms Nighat Orakzai.
She said that her party contested the elections with its hands and legs tied, while the rest of parties had been openly continuing their election campaign in all the constituencies day and night.
“We gave sacrifices for the restoration of peace and strengthening of democracy, but the voters neglected these factors and elected new faces,” she said.
Ms Night said that in KP there were so many issues that none of the new government would be able to overcome completely, adding that restoration of peace needed full attention.
She said that it was now the duty of the winners to focus on key issues, restore peace, overcome unemployment, price hike, and loadshedding. She said that Taliban had already called JUI-F, JI and PTI as guarantors in connection with restoration of peace and now they should play role for the purpose.
The ANP once a leading party in the province has won only one NA seat from Mardan and four provincial assembly seats – two from Mardan, one from Buner and one from Swat. When contacted, ANP provincial president Senator Afrasiab Khattak said that policy statement would be issued to media on Monday (today).