SWABI: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and Awami National Party candidates are in a strong position to win the Feb 8 elections on PK-52 and PK-53 seats here.

PTI’s Faisal Khan Tarakai, a brother of former provincial minister Shahram Khan Tarakai, and Toseef Ijaz of ANP have locked horns as leading candidates in PK-52 constituency, using all their resources to emerge victorious.

A total of 11 candidates, including Ms Yasmeen, an independent, are in the contest on the seat.

PK-52 and PK-53 fall in the Razaar belt, where ANP enjoyed a strong position till the now politically influential Tarakai family remained aloft from politics and focused on its business.

The total registered voters in PK-52 are 225,834, including 104,809 women.

Shahram’s brother and cousin vying for PK-52, 53

In 2013 and 2018 elections, Mohammed Ali Tarakai, Mr Shahram’s uncle, had won the seat.

As Ali Tarakai has gone underground after the May 9 incident, he has given a green signal to his nephew, Faisal, to try his luck for the first time.

Faisal Tarakai is not only campaigning for himself in PK-52, but also for his brother, Shahram, who is contesting from NA-20.

However, local ANP leaders insisted that their candidate was in a strong position to secure the seat.

Meanwhile, PK-53 constituency has total 223,298 registered voters, including 103,694 women.

Mr Shahram had won elections from here in 2013 and 2018.

ANP’s Zahid Khan, who is also a former district nazim,Adil Khan of PML-N, and PTI’s Murtaza Khan Tarakai, a cousin of Mr Shahram, are the front runners in PK-53. A woman, Nazmia of Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan, is also contesting from this constituency.

In PK-53, Pakistan Peoples Party’s candidate Biland Iqbal has withdrawn in favour of the PML-N candidate.

Observers say after the decision of PML-N’s Ijaz Akram Bacha, who had remained runner-up in the 2018 elections, to stay away from polls this time, and ANP‘s Ameer Khan’s departure to England, the field is quite open for Murtaza Tarakai to secure the seat.

They said the PML-N’s candidate would face an uphill task to defeat the newcomer of Tarakai family.

Meanwhile, the ANP leadership has directed the local leaders and workers to limit their election campaign only to their respective union councils instead of holding big gatherings.

Mukhtiar Khan, a former adviser to chief minister, who is responsible for making ANP’s election strategy in Swabi, said the party activists should focus their own areas to make voters aware of the manifesto and policy of the party.

“When you campaign at the local level, you can also exploit your personal relationships to your benefit,” he said.

Tamraz Khan, former district general secretary, said the decision was made due to shortage of time. He said this policy was expected to produce results as Pakhtuns liked to be physically approached and requested for vote.

Meanwhile, ANP candidates said their party would fight for the rights of Pukhtuns after coming to power.

Shahnawaz Akhunzada and Waris Khan, who are contesting from NA-19 and NA-20, respectively, said Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government had not only pushed the province into debt trap but had also created an environment of polarisation and poisoned the minds of youth.

Published in Dawn, January 31st, 2024

Opinion

Editorial

Unyielding onslaught
12 Jun, 2024

Unyielding onslaught

SEVEN soldiers paid the ultimate price in Lakki Marwat on Sunday when their vehicle was blown up in an IED attack,...
X diplomacy
Updated 12 Jun, 2024

X diplomacy

Both states can pursue adversarial policies, or come to the negotiating table and frankly discuss all outstanding issues, which can be tackled through dialogue.
Strange decisions
12 Jun, 2024

Strange decisions

THE ECP continues to wade deeper and deeper into controversy. Through its most recent decision, it had granted major...
Interest rate cut
Updated 11 Jun, 2024

Interest rate cut

The decision underscores SBP’s confidence that economic stability is gaining traction.
Rampant zealotry
11 Jun, 2024

Rampant zealotry

Decades of myopic policies pursued by the state have further aided the radicalisation of significant portions of the population.
Cricket breakdown
11 Jun, 2024

Cricket breakdown

THERE was a feeling that Pakistan had finally turned the corner in their T20 World Cup campaign. Sadly, it was only ...