KURRAM/NOWSHERA: Election Commission of Pakistan has put in place all arrangements to hold by-elections on Friday (today) on National Assembly and provincial assembly seats in Kurram tribal district and Nowshera.
The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf will face its political foes -- Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz -- in both the constituencies.
The by-polls will be held in National Assembly constituency NA-45 in Kurram tribal district and provincial assembly constituency PK-63 in Nowshera.
Police and Levies backed by Frontier Corps have been deployed outside polling station in Kurram tribal district while police would ensure security at polling stations in Nowshera. Dozens of polling stations have been declared sensitive in both the constituencies.
ECP had announced schedule for by-elections in NA-45 and PK-63 after the demise of MNA Munir Orakzai of JUI-F and MPA Mian Jamshaiduddin Kakakhel of PTI, respectively.
Scores of polling stations declared sensitive in both NA and PA constituencies
Officials said that 27 candidates were contesting by-election in NA-45. JUI-F has allotted ticket to Malik Jamil Khan to retain its seat. Pakistan Peoples Party has withdrawn its candidate in favour of Malik Jamil.
PTI has allotted ticket to Malik Fakhar Zaman, who had contested general elections as independent candidate. Sources said that tough contest was expected between Malik Jamil of JUI-F, Fakhar Zaman of PTI, Nauroz Khan of Awami National Party and an independent candidate Said Jamal.
Said Jamal was PTI candidate and was declared runner-up in the 2018 general elections by getting 13,495 votes. He obtained PTI ticket for the by-elections. The NA-45 constituency consisting of parts of central and lower Kurram region has 180,941 voters including 77,490 women.
Officials said that police, Levies and FC were deployed at the polling stations to avoid any untoward incident and maintain law and order during the by-polls.
In Nowshera, 102 polling stations have been set up for by-elections in PK-63 and ECP has dispatched election material to the polling stations.
Local administration has declared 39 polling stations the most sensitive and 35 sensitive in the constituency. The total number of voters in the constituency is 139,924 while including 69,063 men and 62,087 women.
The ruling PTI has allotted ticket to Mian Mohammad Omar Kakakhel, the son of its late lawmaker Mian Jamshaiduddin. Mr Omar will face Ikhtiar Wali Khan of PML-N, Mian Wajahatullah Kakakhel of ANP and Allama Sanaullah of Tehreek-i-Labaik Pakistan. PPP has withdrawn its candidate in favour of PML-N nominee Ikhtiar Wali.
Federal Minister for Defence Pervez Khattak and his family members including MNA Dr Imran and his sons have rigorously campaigned for PTI candidate.
Ikhtiar Wali Khan enjoyed support of PPP, JUI-F and Qaumi Watan Party. However, ANP declined to withdraw its candidate in his support.
Published in Dawn, February 19th, 2021