TIMERGARA/UPPER DIR: PTI knocked out Jamaat-i-Islami, one of its previous coalition partners, in its strongholds Lower Dir and Upper Dir in the general elections 2018 by sweeping both the districts.
Except Inayatullah Khan, all the JI candidates including its chief Sirajul Haq were defeated by the PTI candidates in both the districts.
It seems that participation of women voters in the elections did not prove well for the religious party.
PTI won two National Assembly seats and four provincial assembly seats in Lower Dir. One of the seven seats in the district, PK-16, was grabbed by ANP.
All Jamaat candidates except one face defeat in Lower Dir, Upper Dir
According to official results, Mehboob Shah of PTI beat Maulana Asadullah of MMA in NA-6 Lower Dir. Mr Shah got 63,440 votes, Maulana Asadullah got 30,665 votes, Zahid Khan of ANP got 30,662 votes, Ahmad Hassan Khan of PPP polled 27,774 votes and Javed Akhtar of PML-N bagged 3,600 votes in the constituency.
In NA-7 constituency, JI chief Sirajul Haq faced a crushing defeat at the hand of PTI’s Bashir Khan, who polled 63,017 votes compared to his 46,040 votes. A total of 104,778 men and 41,400 women cast votes in NA-7. The voter turnout remained 44.22 per cent. ANP candidate Nazir Khan got 19,543 votes and Syed Shahid Jan of PPP got 10,064 votes in the constituency.
Four of the five provincial assembly seats in Lower Dir were won by PTI while ANP succeeded to grab one.
In PK-13, PTI’s Mohammad Azam Khan got 21,666 votes and defeated MMA’s Shad Nawaz Khan, who bagged 18,537 votes.
ANP’s Malik Mohammad Zeb got 11,341 and PPP’s Mohammad Zamin bagged 10,100 votes. The turnout remained 47.18 per cent where 19,569 women also exercised their right to vote.
PTI’s Humayun Khan won PK-14 seat by defeating Bakht Baidar Khan of PPP with a margin of 1,361 votes. Humayun bagged 19,600 votes, Bakht Baidar got 18,239 votes, Dr Zakirullah of MMA got 14,541 votes and Hussain Shah of ANP got 9,269 votes. A total of 54,809 men and 22,430 women cast votes in PK-15 with 48.16 per cent turnout.
Interestingly, PTI’s Shafiullah Khan, a new entrant in politics, defeated two former provincial ministers -- Muzafar Said of MMA and Mehmood Zeb Khan of PPP -- in PK-15 constituency in Lower Dir.
Shafiullah got 21,001 votes, Mehmood Zeb got 16,958 votes, Muzafar Said grabbed 15,880 votes and Sajad Ahmad of ANP bagged 7,491 votes in the constituency. A total of 42,000 men and 21,268 women cast their votes and turnout remained 51.83 per cent.
In PK-16 constituency, Haji Bahadar Khan of ANP remained successful and got 18,712 votes against MMA’s Izazul Mulk Afkari, who got 16,001 votes. PTI candidate Sarbiland Khan got 12,040 votes. The turnout remained 45.64 as 37,713 men and 13,501 women cast their votes.
In PK-17, PTI’s Liaquat Ali defeated Saeed Gul of MMA, who was considered a favourite in the constituency. Liaquat got 22,693 votes, Saeed Gul polled 18,289 votes, Naeem Jan of ANP bagged 5,045 votes and Mohammad Muzafar of PPP got 6,302 votes.
In Upper Dir too, PTI recorded its first victory on National Assembly seat while PPP made a comeback on the provincial assembly seats.
JI retained only National Assembly seat of Inayatullah, former provincial minister, and lost all three seats of provincial assembly in the district. Inayatullah was the only JI candidate, who won PK-12 seat, though convincingly.
PTI’s new entrant Sahibzada Sibghatullah, defeated Sahibzada Tariqullah of JI and Najmuddin Khan of PPP. Sibghatullah, son of two-time JI MNA Sahibzada Fathullah and member of influential Sahibzada family, joined PTI this year. He is the first cousin of the losing JI candidate Tariqullah.
Result on the National Assembly seat was disputed by JI. On Thursday evening, supporters of Tariqullah and PPP workers staged a protest demonstration outside the district returning officer’s office against the poll results. They blocked the main Dir-Peshawar Road.
The supporters of Tariqullah claimed victory and expressed anger at the DRO’s failure to release official results after 24 hours of the end of polling process.
On PK-12, Inayatullah obtained 27,413 votes to win the seat while PTI’s Naveed Anjum Khan secured 19,258 votes. PPP’s Najmuddin, a former federal minister, bagged 18,267 votes in the constituency.
On PK-11, PPP’s Sahibzada Sanullah won by getting 22,191 votes while the runner-up from JI Azam Khan obtained 17,544 votes. PTI candidate Malik Fakhar Hayat stood third by polling 15,534 votes.
PPP’s Malik Badshah Saleh emerged triumphant on PK-10 by obtaining 20,945 votes while JI’s former MPA Mohammad Ali got 19,284 votes. Saleh made a comeback in the election after losing in 2013. PTI woman candidate from this conservative constituency Hameeda Shahid secured 10,878 votes while her party’s Latif Khan got 4,809 votes as an independent candidate.
Published in Dawn, July 27th, 2018