NOWSHERA: The local chapters of political parties belonging to opposition benches are trying to field joint candidates against the ruling PTI as two relatives of Federal Minister for Defence Pervez Khattak have announced to contest by-elections for the two provincial assembly seats in the district.

The provincial assembly seats -- PK-61 and PK-64 -- were vacated by Pervez Khattak, who retained his National Assembly seat and was made federal minister.

PTI has awarded tickets to district nazim Liaquat Khattak, the brother of Pervez Khattak, for PK-64 and for PK-61 to Ibrahim Khattak, the son of Mr Khattak.

Names of nominees to be decided in tomorrow’s meeting

On the other hand, local chapters of PPP, PML-N, ANP and MMA convened a meeting in Nowshera Kalan the other day to forge unity for the by-elections.

The meeting was attended by ANP district president Malik Juma Khan, MMA former candidate PK-61 Haji Inayatur Rehman, MMA candidate for NA-25 Zulfiqar Bacha, PML-N provincial additional general secretary Ikhtiar Wali and other local leaders of the parties.

Addressing the meeting, Ikhtiar Wali Khan said that opposition parties should join hands against PTI as it was playing with the interests of country. He said that PML-N wanted to forge unity among the opposition parties in the district.

Zufiqar Bacha said that they did not accept results of rigged elections and would continue their struggle to get justice. He said that MMA would support joint candidate for both the seats.

Sources said that ANP leader Mohammad Shahid Khan Khattak could be the joint candidate of opposition parties for PK-64. However, they said, consensus was not developed over a joint candidate for PK-61. The name of the joint candidate for the seat would be decided in another meeting, they added.

Sources said that next meeting of the opposition parties was expected on Wednesday.

However, ANP leader Pervez Ahmad Khan had refused the party ticket to contest elections against PTI’s Ibrahim Khattak. He has also decided to convene a meeting of his relatives and supporters on Wednesday to make decision about his future politics.

Party sources said that Pervez Ahmad Khan was likely to quit ANP and join PTI. Several relatives of Federal Minister Pervez Khattak have been awarded tickets by PTI. His nephew and son-in-law Imran Khattak was elected MNA from NA-26 constituency. Pervez Khattak himself was elected MNA from NA-25. His two women relatives Nafeesa Khattak and Sajida Khattak were elected MNAs on reserved seats.

His brother Liaquat Khattak resigned as district nazim to contest by-polls for PK-64 while his son Ibrahim Khattak is contesting for PK-61. PTI sources said that Ishaq Khattak, another son of Pervez Khattak, was trying to become district nazim while Ahad Khattak, the son of Liaquat Khattak, was a tehsil nazim.

Published in Dawn, September 4th, 2018

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