PESHAWAR: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf on Friday named its candidates for 81 provincial assembly and 31 National Assembly seats from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The province has 39 National Assembly and 99 provincial assembly seats.

The provincial assembly candidates include more than 30 former MPAs, including some, who joined the PTI after quitting other parties.

Ex-minister Shaukat Yousafzai, ex-MNAs Ali Mohammad Khan, Shahryar Afridi denied tickets

Noted among the prominent party leaders denied tickets are former provincial minister Shaukat Ali Yousafzai from Peshawar and former MNAs Ali Mohammad Khan from Mardan and Shahryar Afridi from Kohat.

Mr Shaukat, who served as the health minister at the start of the PTI government’s tenure and a regular feature of TV talk show circuit, was ignored for a lesser-known town councillor Kamran Khan Bangash.

Sources however claimed that Mr Shaukat was likely to get ticket from his native Shangla district.

Arbab Najeebullah and Arbab Usman, who came to the PTI fold from the Awami National Party and were considered to be hot favourite for the party’s ticket from the provincial capital, were also not on the candidate list.

Arbab Najeeb was being touted as a strong contender for the NA-30, Peshawar IV, ticket but the seat went to Sher Ali Arbab, who is said to be related to the former chief secretary and head of the PTI election cell.

The party didn’t name candidates for around 18 provincial assembly and eight National Assembly seats without assigning any reason but it is not immediately clear who is going to be adjusted on the remaining seats.

However, party sources told Dawn that the ticket allocation was delayed due to several groups aspiring for a single seat.

The list also shows that a powerful group of individuals, which, many say, has emerged as the party’s ‘provincial establishment’ and includes former chief minister Pervez Khattak, speaker of the last provincial assembly Asad Qaiser, Shahram Khan Taraki, Ali Amin Gandapur and Shah Farman, has been allotted the national and provincial assembly seats.

Shah Farman, Zar Gul Khan and Ali Amin Gandapur are also the PTI’s regional presidents in the province.

Pervez Khattak has been given tickets for PK-64 Nowshera-IV and NA-25 Nowshera-I, while his son-in-law, Imran Khattak, has got the NA-26 Nowshera-II ticket.

Asad Qaiser has been allotted the NA-18 Swabi-I and PK-44 Swabi-II tickets, while Shahram Khan Tarakai has been declared candidate in PK-47 Swabi-V and his uncle, Usman Khan Tarakai, in NA-19 Swabi-II.

Former education minister Mohammad Atif Khan, who is also considered to be close to the Tarakais of Swabi, has also been awarded tickets for two seats, one each for national and provincial assembly.

He will contest elections in PK-50 Mardan-III and NA-21 Mardan-II.

Ali Amin Gandapur, the party’s regional head for southern KP, has been awarded ticket for NA-38 Dera Ismail Khan-I, while Zar Gul Khan, the regional head for Hazara division, has got ticket for NA-14 Mansehra-cum-Torghar and his brother, Zareen Gul, who joined the party after leaving the JUI-F, for PK-35 Torghar.

Shah Farman, the party’s central region head, has also been given two tickets including a national and provincial assembly seat.

He will contest elections from NA-29 Peshawar-III and PK-71 Peshawar-VI.

Only half of the PTI MPAs in the previous assembly, including Shah Farman, Fazal Elahi, Arbab Jehandad, and Isthiq Urmur, managed to secure party tickets, while former PML-N MPA Arbab Waseem, who joined the PTI lately, has also been named as a candidate.

All other tickets have been awarded to new faces, except Nasir Muszai, who quit the PML-N to join the party.

Former special assistant to chief minister from Swat Amjad Ali is the only candidate to be allocated two provincial assembly seats from his native Swat.

Provincial president of the Insaf Student Federation Shahid Khattak has also been granted ticket for NA-34, Karak. Zahida Sabeel is the only woman to receive party ticket for provincial assembly from PK-34 Mansehra-V.

Sultan Mohammad Khan and Fazl Shakoor Khan, former MPAs, who switched from the QWP and JUI-F respectively, have been awarded election tickets from Charsadda district.

Three former cabinet members from Hazara division Haji Qalandar Khan Lodhi, Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani and Akbar Ayub Khan have been awarded the provincial assembly tickets.

The PTI has also named former minister Mian Jamsheduddin and former MPAs Mian Khalique and Mohammad Idrees from Nowshera as election candidates for the provincial assembly seats in Nowshera.

Published in Dawn, June 9th, 2018