Chart: Nadeem Ahmed Khan
Chart: Nadeem Ahmed Khan

PESHAWAR: Turning the tables on the political old guard in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-backed independent candidates swept Thursday’s general elections for the provincial assembly.

They won over 85 of the 115 general seats in the 145–strong house, according to the provisional poll results.

The JUI-F emerged successful in seven constituencies, PML-N in five, PPP three, Jamaat-i-Islami two and PTI-Parliamentarians and Awami National Party one each, while two seats went to independents not supported by the PTI.

The independents claimed 25 out of 30 PA seats in Malakand Division. Former chief minister Mahmood Khan lost to a relatively unknown independent candidate, Mohammad Naeem, with a heavy margin of over 10,000 votes.

Win 85 of 115 PA general seats amid Peshawar setback

Similarly, PPP provincial president Syed Mohammad Ali Shah Bacha and PML-N provincial president Amir Muqam also lost their bid for the KP Assembly.

The Jamaat-i-Islami lost its stronghold of Upper and Lower Dir districts in elections but won two PA seats in Bajaur tribal district.

Both PML-N and PPP got two seats from the region, while not a single seat went to the ANP.

In central districts of the province, including Peshawar, Mardan, Swabi, Charsadda and Nowshera, the independents claimed a landslide victory.

However, in the provincial capital, PTI-backed candidates suffered a major setback as they lost seven seats out of 13 PA seats wherein two former ministers, including Taimur Saleem Jhagra and Kamran Khan Bangash, lost to their rivals.

Arbab Waseem, the lone winner of the Pervez Khattak-led party PTI-P, secured the first electoral victory for the PTI’s breakaway group from the provincial capital by winning PK-73 Peshawar-II.

Surprisingly, the PML-N clinched two Peshawar seats of PK-77 and PK-79.

Its nominee, Jalal Khan, defeated PTI’s Taimur Saleem Khan Jhagra in PK-79 – a PTI stronghold.

The PPP candidates, including former provincial assembly speaker Kiramatullah Chagarmati and Arbab Zarak Khan, won their respective seats from the provincial capital. One of the PA seats from Peshawar was claimed by the JUI-F and another by independent Malik Tariq Awan.

In Nowshera, Mardan and Swabi and Charsadda districts, PTI-backed independents won all PA seats.

The ANP won only a seat from Peshawar, where its candidate, Arbab Mohammad Usman, defeated PTI-backed candidate Arbab Jehandad Khan.

In Nowshera, former chief minister Pervez Khattak – a candidate for two provincial assembly seats - lost election to his former ally, Mian Khaliqur Rehman and Mian Mohammad Umar, the son of late Mian Jamshed Kakakhel, his another ally. Khattak’s both sons also lost their PA bid.

In Mardan, former chief minister Amir Haider Khan of the ANP lost his provincial assembly bid.

Similarly, the ANP failed to win even a single seat in the birthplace of Pakhtun nationalism Charsadda. The Qaumi Watan Party, the party of former chief minister Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao, also didn’t win a single provincial assembly seat.

In Swabi, Aqibullah Khan, brother of former National Assembly speaker Asad Qaiser, and Faisal Khan Tarakai and Murtaza Khan Tarakai, brother and cousin of former minister Shahram Khan Tarakai respectively, claimed their maiden electoral victories as independents.

In Hazara division, the PTI’s nominees claimed a landslide victory by winning all three PA seats from Haripur district, five from Abbottabad district and four from Mansehra district.

Results of election for another PA seat from Mansehra have yet to be announced.

One of Torghar district’s PA seats was won by independent candidate Laiq Mohammad Khan, who wasn’t backed by the PTI.

Also, two of three Kohistan region seats were claimed by independents, while the third went to the JUI-F.

In southern KP, PTI-backed independents won both provincial assembly seats.

However, the JUI-F won two seats in Dera Ismail Khan, hometown of its emir Maulana Falzur Rehman, while the PPP and PTI provincial president Ali Amin Khan Gandapur claimed their respective seats in the district.

The PTI nominee emerged as the winner in Tank district’s sole PA constituency.

In Bannu district, the JUI-F won two PA seats while election results for two seats were awaited.

A PTI-backed candidate emerged as winner of one of Lakki Marwat district’s two seats, while the other seat went to Marwat Qaumi Ittehad’s nominee Hisham Inamulalh.

VICTORY IN NA CONSTITUENCIES:Independent candidates won 32 out of 44 National Assembly seats in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, according to the provisional election results issued by the ECP.

Two seats were won by the PML-N and one each by JUI-F and PPP.

The average voter turnout in 32 NA constituencies was 39 per cent.

The highest turnout of 77 per cent was reported in the NA-14 constituency from where PML-N candidate Sardar Mohammad Yousaf was the winner. The lowest turnout of 17 per cent was recorded in NA-32 that went to PTI-backed independent Asif Khan.

The provisional results of six NA seats, including NA-12, NA-35, NA-40, NA-41, NA-42 and NA-43, were not released until the filing of this report.

Election wasn’t held in NA-8 Bajaur constituency due to the murder of a candidate during the election campaign.

The election results showed that 18,692,511 votes were registered in the province and of them, 7,372,957 were polled and 211,770 were rejected.

In Peshawar, PTI-backed independents including Amir Ayub, Shandana Gulzar, Arbab Sher Ali and Asif Khan made it to the National Assembly.

However, independent Sajid Nawaz was defeated by JUI-F’s Noor Alam Khan, who won the 2018 general elections on the PTI ticket. Mr Khan got 138,389 out of 241,123 valid polled votes, while Nawaz bagged 65,119 votes.

All four PTI-backed candidates secured over 56 per cent of the total 496,495 polled votes in four constituencies.

Nowshera district, which was considered to be a stronghold of former chief minister Pervez Khattak, was swept by the PTI-backed candidates.

Khattak and his son-in-law Imran Khan, who had won the 2018 general elections on PTI tickets, suffered a defeat in Thursday’s elections.

Likewise, former chief minister Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao lost election in NA-24 Charsadda. He got 35,415 out of 193,308 votes against 89,801 votes of PTI-backed candidate Anwar Taj and 48,545 votes of JUI-F’s Gohar Ali.

Ameer Haider Hoti of the ANP, the two times MNA and former chief minister, along with his cousin Aimal Wali Khan, the son of ANP central president Asfandyar Wali Khan, also failed to make it to the National Assembly.

Mr Hoti lost election to former senior minister and PTI-backed independent Atif Khan, while Mr Aimal was defeated by former PTI MNA Fazal Mohammad.

PTI-P nominee and former chief minister Mehmood Khan also lost election to PTI-backed candidate Sohail Sultan in NA-4 Swat.

Published in Dawn, February 10th, 2024

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