Political leadership reject govt plea to delay poll in tribal districts

PESHAWAR: The Political leadership of district Bajaur slammed the request of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to delay elections in tribal districts.

The local leadership of the different parties held a press conference at Bajaur press club. Jamat-e-Islami’s (JI) acting chief for Bajaur Mohammad Hameed, JI nominee for PK-101, Sahibzada Haroon Rasheed, Pakistan People Party (PPP) Bajaur president Aurangzeb, Awami National Party (ANP) general secretary Nisar Khan Baz, ANP candidate for PK-101 Lali Shah, PPP nominee for PK-101 Mohammad Anees Khan and others political leaders and workers were present during the press conference.

The government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had requested the ECP to delay the election in tribal districts for twenty days due to the recent security situation in North Waziristan. The government officials expressed the fear that there can be sabotage activities from across the Afghan border; therefore, they asked the ECP to postpone the election for 20 days.

The government believes that the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan allows them to postpone the election process when there is a fear of attacks on political leadership and lives of voters are in danger.

In joint press conference, the political leaders of different parties termed the request a bid to derail the tribal districts merger process with the province. They also warned of massive protests, if the first ever election in tribal districts were postponed.

The ECP has completed the pre-election process and political parties have nominated candidates for 16 provincial assembly seats. The election has been scheduled on July 2. The political parties have also started campaigns in all tribal districts.

The JI Provincial president Senator Mushtaq Ahmad has also issued a statement and rejected the KP government request for polls delay in tribal districts. Ahmad asked the government to ensure the timely arrangement for the polls.