LANDIKOTAL: The Awami National Party (ANP) candidate from PK-105 constituency of Landikotal, Khyber tribal district, Shah Hussain Shinwari has accused independent candidates of trying to buy the conscience of voters by offering them money in return for their votes.

Addressing a press conference at Landikotal Press Club on Wednesday, Shah Hussain Shinwari said it is a matter of shame for the tribal districts that some independent candidates are trying to buy conscience and soul of voters by offering them money for votes. He said independent candidates must not fly high because their independent status will end soon.

The ANP candidate alleged that independent candidates in Landikotal and rest of tribal districts are creating disturbance in the polls through the use of money. He said independent candidates don’t have any manifesto or programme for tribal people and they are contesting elections for power. He alleged that independents cannot beat candidates of mainstream parties as they lack any programme that is why they are using money to stop their rival candidates. Shah Hasan lamented that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is not taking notice of the matter and acting like a silent spectator.

The ANP leader said the mainstream political parties have the credit to work for merger of erstwhile Fata with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and subsequent reforms in tribal districts. He said change became possible in tribal districts due to countless sacrifices of political parties’ workers.

Shah Hussain said independent candidates were responsible for the backwardness of merged districts as they have no programme or direction and they contest elections only to gain power instead of serving the people. He said the ANP is true representative of Pakhtuns and it will never hesitate from offering any sacrifice for the people of tribal districts.

The ANP leader urged the tribal people not to waste their votes just in return for a power transformer or a solar panel battery. He said the tribal people must vote for those candidates who have passion to serve them better.

Elections on 16 general seats of tribal districts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly will be held on July 20.