NA-32: Musharraf set to win with thumping majority

CHITRAL, April 2: Former president Pervez Musharraf is the most powerful candidate for the sole National Assembly seat of Chitral in the coming general election. musharrafA number of political workers from different political parties while talking to this correspondent said the former army general had won the hearts of the locals by restarting work on Lowari tunnel which provided them all-weather connection with the rest of the country. Requesting not to be named, they said Chitral used to remain cut-off from the rest of the country during five months of the winter season and the 8.5 kms tunneling of the Lowari Pass during his government had endeared him to the people of this backward area who take them as their benefactor. They said the stopping of work on the project during the five-year tenure of PPP had further enriched his value among the people who are determined to reciprocate him in the form of voting him in the election irrespective of their political affiliations. The infighting among the leaders of PPP over the party ticket has divided the party into two conspicuous and hostile groups (Salim Khan and Sartaj groups) giving advantage to the Jamaat-i-Islami nominee Maulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali who may give a tough time to the former dictator. The political activists are found unanimous in the point that the popularity of the former general may not benefit the nominees of his party (APML) for the two provincial assembly seats including Shahzada Khalid Parvaiz (Chitral-I) and Ghulam Mohammad (Chitral-II). For Pk-89 Chitral I, Maulana Sher Aziz of JI, former provincial minister Salim Khan of PPP, former MPA Maulana Abdur Rahman are the main contestants but the position of the PPP nominee is highly jeopardized by former tehsil nazim Sartaj Khan who wields a widespread following and respect among the party workers. In PK-90 Chitral-II, the main contests are said to be between former MPA Ghulam Mohammad, Maulana Hussain Ahmed of JUI and Syed Sardar Hussain of PPP but the numerical majority of PPP is likely to be marred by the infighting in its ranks.–Zahiruddin]]>

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