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PESHAWAR: Differences between Jamaat-i-Islami and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islami-Fazl, major members of the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal, have delayed election nominations by the religio-political alliance in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Sources claimed both JI and JUI-F were at odds over the distribution of MMA tickets in several districts of the province.

A JUI-F leader told Dawn on condition of anonymity that the JI wanted MMA tickets in many of its favourite constituencies on the basis of the 2002 election results, while the JUI was striving to grab tickets in light of the 2013 poll performance.

JI provincial chief says tickets for 80pc seats final; deadlock over rest

He said the Jamaat eyed an election nomination from every district of southern KP and half of seats from the provincial capital, and the differences on award of tickets in Buner, Nowshera and Mardan were hampering announcement of the MMA candidates.

The JUI-F leader said the JI demanded the National Assembly seat from Buner district.

He said the former Buner MNA, who belonged to the JI, had joined the PTI and that he was currently the PTI’s candidate from the constituency.

The JUI-F leader said his party’s candidate stood third in the 2013 elections but the JI opposed his candidacy.

He said his party also demanded a seat in every district of the southern province, which was historically its bastion.

“No JI candidate has ever polled more than 2,000 votes in southern KP and so, awarding MMA ticket to them is not possible,” he said.

He said in Malakand region, Upper and Lower Dir were the Jamaat’s strongholds and Swat, Shangla, Malakand and Buner JUI-F’s.

He said in Chitral, the JI had been awarded the NA ticket, while JUI-F had got the provincial assembly ticket.

“The JI local chapter in Chitral was divided over ticket as the incumbent district nazim wanted the provincial assembly ticket for himself, while the NA ticket has been allotted to Abdul Akbar Chitrali,” he said.

The JUI-F leader said the JI wanted half of assembly seats in Peshawar but his party was not ready for it.

“I think that the Peshawar district nomination issue has been settled by local chapters of both parties,” he said.

He said there were no issues in Swabi and Charsadda districts but in Mardan districts, JUI-F was demanding national and provincial assembly tickets for Maulana Attaur Rehman and Fazl Rabbani.

He said though the Jamaat had won those seats in 2002 but it boycotted the 2008 polls, while in 2013 elections, the JI candidates got fewer votes than the JUI-F’s.

“We have put a lot of hard work in each and every constituency and can’t throw it all to please the JI,” he said.

When contacted, JI provincial chief Mushtaq Ahmad Khan said the MMA’s central parliamentary board had agreed on election nominations for around 80 per cent assembly seats.

He however acknowledged that both JUI-F and JI had a deadlock over the rest.

Mr Mushtaq said mostly, the local leadership of the parties decided about tickets in their respective districts and when they failed to do so, the cases went to the provincial chapter for decision.

He added that if the provincial leadership too failed to decide about them, the cases would go to the central leadership.

Mr Mushtaq claimed there were no issues about MMA nominations in the provincial capital.

He however acknowledged that the JI wanted to get seats from southern parts of KP.

He said in addition to this there were differences over ticket allocation in Swat, Mansehra, Abbottabad, Nowshera, Mardan and other districts of the province.

He said the announcement of ticket holders would be made following the decision on deadlocked seats and it was likely to take a couple of days more.

Published in Dawn, June 14th, 2018