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Infighting upsets parties in Swabi

SWABI, March 29: Political parties are in trouble as many of their enraged activists have announced to contest the May 11 elections as independent candidates.

Among them, Awami National Party is the biggest victim of internal differences.

Things became difficult for the Asfandyar Wali Khan-led nationalist party, especially after it withdrew ticket from former provincial minister Zar Shaid Khan and awarded it to Gul Zamin Shah for PK-31, Swabi-1.

There are also differences in ANP over award of tickets in PK-33, PK-34, PK-35 and PK-36.

In PK-33, former provincial minister Awwal Sher Khan and former MPA Mohammad Shoaib Khan have strongly reacted to the party decision, saying their contributions during the last five decades had brushed aside.

Observers said it would badly harm ANP in an area, where its position was previously quite strong.

It is not clear that whether Mr Zar Shaid will contest elections as an independent candidate. He has already tendered resignation from ANP along with his supporters.

Former ANP district information secretary Mohammad Rashid told Dawn that he was not awarded ticket in 2008 elections and he did not apply for the party ticket in upcoming elections because he knew the mood of the party leadership, who always supported affluent leaders and ignored diehard workers.

He said he had decided to contest election from NA-12 and PK-31 as independent candidate.

Mr Rashid, who is no longer with ANP, said it was ironic that Pakhtuns, who they had great contributions to the party, had been neglected.

The situation is no different in Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf.

Former PTI information secretary Shah Wali said if the party didn’t withdraw the ticket awarded to district general of the party Yousaf Ali, he would contest election as an independent candidate.

“My decision is final,” he said.

Asad Zaman, son of former provincial minister Sher Zaman Sher, said Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl had promised PK-34, Swabi-IV ticket to him but awarded it to Mohammad Shakil.

He said the ‘breach of promise’ had made him contest election as an independent candidate.

“JUI-F leaders deceived me, so I parted ways with the party over hypocritical politics,” he said.

Meanwhile, PTI has awarded tickets for two National Assembly and six provincial assembly constituencies in the district.

The PTI candidates are Anwar Haqdad for NA-12, Swabi-I; Asad Qaisar NA-13, Swabi-II; Yousaf Ali PK-31, Swabi-I; Zahoor Bacha PK-31, Swabi-II; Engineer Zubair Khan PK-33, Swabi-III; Dr Fazal Ellahi PK-34, Swabi-IV; Asad Qaisar PK-35, Swabi-V, and Haji Rangaiz Khan PK-36, Swabi-VI.

In a related development, JUI-F and Qaumi Watan Party entered into seat adjustment here on Friday.

Addressing a news conference, QWP district president Fazal Wadood Khan and former provincial education minister Fazal Ali said QWP would field candidates in PK-31, PK-33 and PK-34, while in NA-13, PK-35 and PK-36, JUI-F would field candidates and QWP would support them.

He said QWP and JUI-F would defeat Awami Jamhori Ittehad and ANP in elections.