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Militant threats: No ANP, PPP flags in Wana

April 11, 2013

PESHAWAR, April 10: Workers and supporters of Awami National Party and Pakistan People’s Party will not hoist their parties’ flags on their offices and houses in Wana of South Waziristan Agency and its surrounding villages due to militant threats.

However, activists of other political parties, including Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl, Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf and Jamaat-i-Islami, are exceptions, it is learnt.

Sources said local Taliban Shura led by commander Salahuddin Ayubi had feared threat to ANP and PPP supporters from proscribed Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and asked local leaders of the two parties not to hoist flags on their offices, shops and houses.

A leader of ANP in Wana told Dawn over the telephone that party workers and supporters would follow the suggestion of Taliban Shura.

“This decision is in the interest of the party workers and supporters,” he said, adding that Taliban Shura gave suggestion to the local leaders of the two parties in the wake of threat from the banned organisation.

“Following Shura’s directives, ANP did not hoist party flag on its main election office in Wana,” he said.

He, however, said lantern, ANP’s election symbol, had been displayed in front of the party office.

Earlier, ANP had asked the powerful Taliban Shura whether its workers could hoist flags or not.

Before the announcement of the general election schedule, TTP reportedly placed ANP, PPP and Muttahida Qaumi Movement on its hit list and warned the people to keep themselves away from corner and public meetings of these parties.

A total of 49 candidates have filed nomination papers for NA-41, South Waziristan-1. ANP has given ticket to Ayaz Khan Wazir, while JUI-F has fielded former MNA Maulana Abdul Malik. However, PPP did not field candidate in the constituency.

The total number of registered voters in the two South Waziristan Agency constituencies is 200,666, including 66,413 women.

Sources said a tough contest was expected between JUI-F and ANP on the two seats.

Ayaz Wazir was the runner-up in the 2008 general elections. However, polls could not be held in NA-42, South Waziristan-2 due to military operation against militants. As a result, the seat remained vacant for five years. Majority of the voters of this constituency are living in IDP camps in Tank and Dera Ismail Khan.

The Election Commission of Pakistan has planned to set up polling stations for displaced persons from South Waziristan, Khyber, Orakzai and Kurram agencies outside their constituencies, where they can cast vote. ANP leaders said their door-to-door election campaign was going smoothly in the area and Taliban Shura was also cooperating with them.

They said the party was likely to open its second election office in Azam Warsak on Friday. They added that three more offices would be opened in Ahmadzai Wazir dominated area of the agency.