PESHAWAR: The opposition parties in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Monday decided to support PPP nominee Farzand Ali Khan against the ruling PTI candidate Zeeshan Khanzada for a vacant seat of Senate.

Polling for the seat will be held on Tuesday (today). The seat was vacated by PPP’s Khanzada Khan few days ago after his son Zeeshan Khanzada joined PTI.

ANP had nominated former provincial minister Haji Hidayatullah Khan for the seat but he announced to retire in favour of Farzand following a jirga of PPP.

A delegation of PPP led by its provincial president Humayun Khan visited the ANP secretariat to seek support of the party. PPP provincial general secretary Faisal Karim Kundi, Sher Azam Khan Wazir and Farzand Ali Khan were part of the delegation.

The ANP leaders, who were present on the occasion, included provincial general secretary Sardar Hussain Babak, Haji Hidayatullah Khan, Sadruddin Marwat, Mukhtiar Khan and others.

“We withdrew our candidate Haji Hidayatullah Khan on the directives of provincial president Aimal Wali Khan to field a joint candidate of opposition,” Mr Babak told Dawn. He said that parties would extend support to PPP candidate under a formula devised by the opposition to give tough time to the ruling party.

Similarly, PML-N provincial spokesman Ikhtiar Wali Khan said that his party would fully support PPP because the Senate seat was vacated by its senator. “We want to support the opposition at every step against the government to get the nation rid of the incompetent rulers as early as possible,” he said.

PPP candidate Farzand Ali Khan told Dawn that he had contacted maximum of the voters and they had assured him of their support in the Senate elections. “It is basically PPP’s seat and I am sure that lawmakers will support me,” he added.

Meanwhile, the provincial election commissioner, Pir Maqbool Ahmed, who is presiding officer for the Senate elections, visited provincial assembly and gave necessary instructions to the relevant officials for setting up polling station.

He discussed preparations for the elections with provincial assembly secretary Nasrullah Khan.

According to a statement, cards had already been issued to the assembly members as the ballot papers would be issued only on basis of the ECP’s card.

The polling will start at 9am and continue till 4pm without any break. A total of 145 members of the provincial assembly will cast votes. It was stated that five polling officers would supervise the election.

All the relevant departments have been directed to play their due role to ensure peaceful elections.

Published in Dawn, November 26th, 2019

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