ISLAMABAD: Begum Nasim Wali Khan, who has fought and won many a battle for Awami National Party since 1975, appears to have lost her last effort to entrench herself in politics after prolonged dormancy and what she calls ‘dictatorial’ step by the party leadership is what was already written on the wall.
“This is callous game of power politics,” said a senior ANP leader.
A high-powered ANP parliamentary board headed by provincial party president Senator Afrasiab Khattak on Friday announced award of Senate ticket to a female candidate from Dir by rejecting Begum Nasim’s application on grounds of old age.
As for education and political acumen, ANP’s pick is no match for Begum Nasim. She has reportedly been favoured due to her father’s death in a terrorist attack.
Rejection of Begum Nasim’s candidacy has been resented by some in the party on the grounds that if anyone was to be considered on basis of her/his father’s sacrifices, then applications should have been invited from heirs of all terror victims.
With her losing a ‘lost chance’ of entrenchment, any chance of ANP changing its political course has also diminished as she differed with her party line of steadfast support to the Pakistan People’s Party and permanently alienating from PML-N.
Begum Nasim, who was sidelined by leadership in 2005 after getting rid of Farid Toofan, her biggest supporter in the party, has to her credit the winning of three provincial elections and being the top political powerbroker.
She would not have applied for party ticket had she realised the amount of opposition for her in the party, sources close to her said. The parliamentary board comprised known loyalists of the party president, they said.
Begum Naism’s rivals in the party have played their cards so well that even her own brother Azam Khan Hoti who remained her frontline supporter in the past has switched over sides to her nephew who had name his son Ameer Haider Khan Hoti for the coveted office of the chief minister.
An insider, who requested anonymity, revealed to Dawn that “It seems to me a tit for tat for, when she was all powerful in the party she too had treated her stepson, Asfandyar Wali, the same way by trying to keep him at bay in party decisions and even allotment of tickets.”
He recalled that the party’s supreme leader of the time Wali Khan had to intervene in getting his son the party ticket.
Another senior party sympathiser close to ANP politics said in fact Begum Nasim being step mother to the party chief had never been supportive to her husband’s son and tried her level best to promote her own son Sangeen Wali Khan as heir apparent to Wali Khan who unfortunately died in tragic circumstances.