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Electioneering at a snail's pace in Taxila, Wah

April 14, 2013

TAXILA, April 13: Unlike other parts of the country, electioneering has not gained momentum for the one national and two provincial assembly seats in Taxila and Wah Cantonment. This is mainly because of the uncertainty and internal strife over award of party tickets and tough scrutiny by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

Two of the major political parties - PTI and PPP - are facing problems over award of tickets and so far none of them has officially announced their candidates.

PML-N stalwart Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, contesting for one national and one provincial assembly seat, was cleared by the election tribunal just two days back due to which uncertainty prevailed among the public in his area.

This uncertainty coupled with delay in announcement of party candidates, internal strife and lack of interest among the people are the major reasons the electioneering has not gained momentum.

Interestingly, different independent groups like Haji Dildar Khan, Faisal Iqbal as well as candidates of religious parties have also not launched their drives due to the delay in announcement of the candidates as they are also looking for a seat adjustment with other political parties.

Rafeeq Butt, a local political observer, while talking to this correspondent said the PPP and PTI seemed still stuck in the process of nominating their candidates which is not letting their party members to start the election campaigns.

Rasheed Mughal, another political observer, said the PPP and the PTI faced infighting as a large number of self-proclaimed party candidates had submitted nominations and were also trading allegations against each other.

Moreover, 10 self-proclaimed PTI candidates and six PPP men have filed nomination papers for both the national and provincial assembly seats in the district and were trying to get the party tickets.

When contacted, the PTI possible candidates said they were confused about starting the election drives and in some areas the supporters of more than two aspirants had started low-scale election activity which would ultimately create confusion when the names of the ticket holders are announced.

Mansoor Siddiqui, one of strong PTI contenders, said, “We are in a more difficult position than the PPP, as we have nearly six potential candidates in one constituency.”

When asked about the earlier clearance of the heavyweights, one of the candidates in the PTI, who wished not to be named, said no one could claim himself to be the party candidate till the announcement of the final list.

People connected with the election-related business here also complained that though election was around the corner their business had not gained momentum.

Mohammad Shafeeq, who has been doing publicity and printing business for the last 10 years, said he had not achieved the target of printing pamphlets and banners.