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ABBOTTABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz are making hectic efforts to woo independents to strengthen party position for the Abbottabad district and tehsil nazim slots as the former has an edge of three seats over the latter.

In the past, Abbottabad politics was dominated by PML-N, but after PTI entered the arena in 2013 elections it could not maintain its grip on the local politics and now it is struggling with 19 members against 22 seats of PTI to form the local government.

For the district council nazim, PML-N is likely to pick Sardar Shamoon Yar, son of Governor Sardar Mahtab Ahmed Khan, while PTI is yet to decide its candidate. PTI’s two members-elect, including Ali Khan Jadoon – son of former federal minister Amanullah Khan Jadoon – and Sardar Waqar Nabi – son of late provincial minister Sardar Ghulam Nabi – are said to be in the run for the slot of district chairman.

Sources said that Ali Jadoon enjoyed the support of majority of members-elect and all the party MNAs and MPAs from Abbottabad for the purpose.

Sardar Sher Bahadar, former PTI district president – who, after refusal of party ticket, contested the election as independent candidate and defeated brother-in-law of provincial information minister Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani – is also said to have claimed the support of majority of the members-elect and has started a campaign to get the top slot.

PTI has got 22 of 51 general seats in the district and resultantly will add another 11 seats on the basis of proportional representation out of total 77 in the district assembly. Similarly, PML-N has got 19 seats and will get another 10 on the basis of proportional representation.

In 38 union councils of Abbottabad tehsil, PTI has secured 15 seats, PML-N 14, Pakistan Rah-e-Haq one and independents seven, while results of Tajwal is withheld and re-election suggested.

The district returning officer has already called for re-election in three polling stations of Sarbanha and one polling station at Banda Pir Khan.

In Havelian tehsil, PTI has got six seats and PML-N five, while one independent candidate got a seat of the total 13 seats. Election results of Nara UC were withheld and re-election suggested.

Political parties have yet to make nominations for tehsil nazim slot. However, Sardar Sher Dil and Naeem Lodhi of PTI and Mohammad Waseem of PML-N are set to contest election to the slot.

Published in Dawn, June 9th, 2015

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