LAKKI MARWAT, Dec 29: Amid protests by PPP and Jamaat-i-Islami workers against the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, the election campaign is in full swing in the district.

Former district nazim and PML-Q candidate Humayun Saifullah Khan and MMA candidate Dr Pir Mohammad Khalid Raza Zakori, who is also a provincial caretaker minister and backed by the Haji Kabir group of PML-N, are two main aspirants in the run for NA-27 (Lakki Marwat).

Several other candidates, including ANP’s Malik Haji Hamidullah Khan and independent candidate Khan Bahadar Khan, are also in the field for the only national assembly seat in the district.

Huge banners and posters have been displayed across the district by the candidates for one National Assembly and three provincial seats. Humayun Saifullah has the support of PML-N provincial general-secretary Anwar Kamal Khan Marwat, who is a candidate for PF-76 (Lakki Marwat-III).

Saifullah’s younger brother and former federal minister, Anwar Saifullah Khan, is contesting as an independent candidate from two provincial assembly seats -- PF-74 (Lakki Marwat-I) and PF-75 (Lakki Marwat-II).He will face the former provincial assembly member and strong independent candidate, Zafrullah Khan Marwat, who was jointly backed by the Haji Kabir group of PML-N and the MMA.

PML-N candidate Amin Jan Khan withdrew in favour of Anwar Saifullah, while independent candidate Maulana Abdul Halim announced his withdrawal in favour of Zafrullah Khan Marwat.

Another former MPA of the PML-N and now MMA candidate, Malik Imran Khan Marwat, will be facing Anwar Saifullah Khan in PF-75, the native constituency of the Saifullahs.

Pir Zakori is backing Malik Imran while Anwar Kamal has entered into alliance with the Saifullahs of PML-Q. Imran Khan of the ANP and independent candidates Yaver Saood Khan and Maulana Roohul Amin are also trying their luck in PF-75.

Political analysts see a neck and neck contest between MMA’s Malik Imran and Anwar Saifullah, backed by the PML-Q and Anwar Kamal alliance.

Anwar Kamal is contesting from his native constituency PF-76 which he had won in the 2002 polls by defeating Jamil Ahmad Khan of the PML-Q.

One of the factions of PML-N led by its provincial general-secretary has made seat adjustments with the rival PML-Q. Another PML-N faction headed by former MNA Haji Kabir Khan has entered into electoral alliance with the MMA and has fielded Haji Munawar Khan as an independent candidate against Anwar Kamal Marwat.The PML-N after making seat adjustments with the MMA had swept the 2002 elections by winning all three seats of the provincial assembly in the district. But differences between the two parties and lethargic attitude of the provincial and central leadership have inflicted a great loss to the PML-N this time.

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