KHAR: The elections on 16 general seats of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly were held on July 20 in a peaceful environment in which independent candidates won most seats.
However, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), which although won only one seat from Bajaur tribal district, emerged as the largest party in Bajaur as it polled most votes in the tribal district. As many as 39 candidates contested elections on three seats of Bajaur. Anwar Zeb Khan of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) won PK-100 seat by securing 12,951 seats, on PK-101, the PTI MNA Gul Dad Khan’s brother Ajmal Khan won the election by securing 12,194 votes and Siraj Khan of the JI won PK-102 seat by getting 19,088 votes.
The JI’s Maulana Waheed Gul was runner-up on PK-101 with 11,775, Haroon Rashid of the same party was runner-up on PK-101 with 10,466 votes, while the PTI’s Dr Hameed was runner-up on PK-102 with 13,436 votes. So the contest in Bajaur was mainly between the PTI and JI in which although the PTI won two seats, but the JI took most votes in the whole district. The JI secured overall 41,338 votes in three constituencies of Bajaur, PTI remained second with 38,581 votes and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) remained third with 22,484 votes.
Bajuar has a total population of 1,093,684 and there were a total of 534,003 registered voters. A total of 170,415 votes were cast in the elections in Bajaur and turnout was 31.91 percent. As many as 3,314 votes were cancelled in three constituencies.
The overall turnout in tribal districts was 26.27 percent. PK-109 constituency of Kurram tribal district had the highest turnout of 40.10 percent, while PK-113 constituency of North Waziristan tribal district recorded lowest turnout of 16.10 percent. The women’s turnout was even lower in most of the constituencies.
The first ever provincial elections in tribal districts were hailed world over due to peaceful exercise in an area which was previously badly affected due to militancy. Political experts also hailed participation of people, particularly women, in elections in merged districts. They expressed satisfaction over the increasing political maturity of people of merged districts and were confident that turnout of voters will increase further in the next elections in the area.