LANDIKOTAL: Candidates taking part in the upcoming elections on provincial assembly seats of tribal districts have accused the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) of violating election code of conduct.

A meeting of election candidates of different political parties and independent candidates was held in Landikotal on Wednesday. Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) leader Ijaz Shinwari, Awami National Party (ANP) leader Shah Hussain Shinwari, Jamaat-e-Islami representative Murad Hussain Afridi, PTI representative Shahid Shinwari, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Malikzada Nadeem Afridi and Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) candidate Ali Rehman Shalman attended the meeting.

Mufti Ijaz Shinwari said while talking to journalists after the meeting that election candidates must be given permission to conduct election campaign in Bazaar Zakhakhel. He said if the government is not willing to allow electioneering in Bazaar Zakhakhel then the area must be excluded from elections. He said if elections are held in Bazaar Zakhakhel then its polling stations must be set up in other areas of Landikotal.

The JUI-F leader alleged that a sitting Member National Assembly, who is also a federal minister, has run election campaign for Shermat Khan Afridi. He said the candidate and the MNA must be disqualified over election code of conduct violation. He also alleged that Senator Taj Muhammad Afridi is showing complete disregard to election laws. He alleged that the business of sale and purchase of votes is going on in full swing, while no one is taking notice of the matter.

Ijaz Shinwari said all the opposition parties will make a joint strategy if their demands were not accepted. He said the option of staging protests is also on the table. He said several complaints have been sent to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and district administration officials, but no one is taking action. He said there is no use of rigged elections the results of which would not be acceptable to anyone.

Elections on 16 general seats of tribal districts will be held on July 20. Initially, the polls were to be held on July 02, but were postponed over the request of the KP government citing administrative and security matters.

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