CHITRAL, April 15: Candidates of different political parties for the National Assembly seat (NA-32) in Chitral have not yet started their formal campaigns and are waiting for April 16 when an election tribunal in Peshawar will give its ruling on the objections raised against acceptance of Pervez Musharraf’s nominations from the district.
Most of the candidates chitraltoday.net approached said they were in Chitral town and would be launching their electioneering after April 16. Two of the candidates admitted that that if the former president was allowed to contest from Chitral, his landslide victory was sure as majority of the people of Chitral were supporting him.
A spokesperson for Pervez Musharraf in Islamabad on Monday said the former president would hold a mammoth public meeting in Chitral after April 17. It seems that Musharraf himself is also quite sceptical about having a smooth sailing as his objections filed with an election tribunal in Karachi against rejection of his nomination papers for NA-25 were on Monday rejected. It is quite unlikely that the tribunal in Peshawar would give a clean chit to Musharraf unless there are some unexpected developments like in Lahore where the ET has issued notices to the attorney general of Pakistan to clarify how the former Musharraf can be stopped from taking part in the election when no court has convicted him of any case. The Lahore High Court’s election tribunal will also take up the objections of Pervez Musharraf against dismissal of his nomination in Kasur.
Some political observers in the country are, however, of the view that Musharraf may be allowed to run for the Chitral seat. But a lawyer in Peshawar said in case Musharraf’s objections against rejection of his nominations by returning officers in the three other constituencies were upheld by the election tribunals, there would be no legal ground for the Peshawar tribunal to dismiss the objections against acceptance of his papers in Chitral.
One political worker in Chitral said Musharraf’s ouster from the election race will give a new hope to all the candidates in NA-32, especially Maulana Abdul Akbar, and Abdul Lateef, as with the former president in the field they see their definite routing. “If Musharraf contests from Chitral, it is better for tehse candidates to withdraw from the race because they will face a humiliating defeat,” said the political worker.