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SWABI: Awami National Party leader Gul Zamin Shah, who was a joint candidate of the seven-party Swabi Democratic Alliance (SDA) for the by-election on PK-44, Swabi-II, has refused to contest the polls.

Mr Shah had tasted defeat in the previous three general elections and in the last month’s general elections he finished runner-up on PK-44. The seat was vacated by National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaisar.

Sources in SDA said the formula was that the runner-up candidate would be the joint candidate of the alliance in the by-election.

When contacted, Mr Shah told Dawn that he had informed the ANP leadership about his decision.

Gul Zamin was joint candidate of Swabi Democratic Alliance

“I have told my party that my family has refused to allow me to contest the by-election,” he added.

When contacted, ANP leader Mohammad Ishfaq said the reason of his refusal was not known but he straight away told the party leadership that he was no longer interested in contesting the election. He, however, said a number of candidates had already submitted applications for the ticket. They included Nawaz Zada, Ghulam Hassan, Aman Khan, Mumtaz Ali, Zarwali Khan, Mohammad Rashid Advocate, Mohammad Sagheer and Mohammad Irshad.

The SDA leaders were scheduled to hold a meeting on Tuesday (today) to finalise the candidate.

Mohammad Jamil Advocate, a leader of QWP which is also a component of SDA, said in the present scenario, Mr Shah was the best candidate.

MURDER CASE HEARING PUT OFF: A local court on Monday put off the hearing of a murder case that occurred on the night of July 25 general elections, and fixed Sept 9 as the new date of hearing.

Ameer Rehman, ANP district president, and his bodyguard had allegedly opened fire on Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf workers in one of the polling stations in Karnal Sher Khan Kili, and as a result a man was killed and two others were injured.

The local court set new date after receiving an application from Mr Rehman that he was sick and could not attend the proceedings of the case. Mr Rehman and his bodyguard have already obtained bail from the court.

Published in Dawn, August 28th, 2018