SHANGLA: The Awami National Party has split over electoral alliance with Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf for the by-poll in PK-23, Shangla-I, constituency scheduled for Sept 10.

The ANP’s ideological activists announced to support PML-N candidate Mohammad Rashad Khan in the by-election following the provincial leadership’s decision to support the party in the by-election, at the Alpuri Press Club on Monday.

ANP provincial leader Karim Babak, party’s PK-23 former candidate Mutawakeel Khan, PML-N MNA Ibadullah, by-poll candidate Mohammad Rashad Khan, Intikhab Alam and others were present.

“Supporting PTI candidate by rejecting the provincial leadership’s orders was the ANP district president Saeed Fareen’s personal decision and not the party’s,” said Karim Babak

He said Mr Fareen and some of his supporters might vote for the PTI man but ideological workers would support PML-N candidate in the by-poll.

To a question, Mr Babak said it was not his jurisdiction to issue show cause notice to Mr Fareen for violating party discipline, but added that after Sept 10 the party would decide his fate.

ANP’s Mutawakeel Khan said he would obey the provincial leadership’s decision.

Haq Nawz Advocate, a senior leader of ANP, said they would support PML-N candidate as it was the party’s decision.

On the occasion, Ibadullah, who is younger brother of Amir Muqam, the PML-N provincial president, thanked ANP leadership for supporting him in the by-polls in Shangla.

He said committees would be formed for running the election campaign to woo voters.

It is to mention here that two days earlier ANP district president Saeed Fareen and his supporters had announced an electoral alliance with the PTI by rejecting the party’s decision to support the PML-N candidate.

Mr Fareen argued that PTI win in the by-poll would ensure Shangla’s uplift as the PTI had governments in the province and the centre.

Published in Dawn, September 4th, 2018