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NA-32: The duel is between Abdul Akbar & Iftikhar

CHITRAL, May 3: With the ouster of former president Pervez Musharraf from the electoral race, a close contest is expected between the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) candidate Shahzada Iftikharuddin and Jamaat-i-Islami (JI)’s Maulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali for the only seat of National Assembly (NA-32) in Chitral. 

Although Chitral has been the stronghold of Pakistan People’s Party since its inception, but its candidate Muhammad Hakeem Khan advocate is facing revolt from party workers over award of tickets for the provincial assembly constituencies from the district.

Former tehsil nazim Sartaj Ahmed Khan, who wielded a wide popularity among PPP workers, has developed differences with the party nominee Salim Khan in the provincial assembly constituency PK-89 and his group is extending a tacit support to the JI candidate in the National Assembly.

Observers said that if Pervez Musharraf had been allowed to contest elections from Chitral, he was likely to bag more than 70 percent votes for accomplishing the Lowari tunnel project. The closure of work on the project during the five years of the PPP government has further endeared Musharraf to the people, strengthening their conviction that it was the former president who got the project started and only he could complete it.

The observers are of the opinion that the vote of sympathy for Pervez Musharraf would likely go to Shahzada Iftikhar who is the son of former MNA Shahzada Mohiuddin. Maulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali is equally popular among the people who has been constantly struggling for the resumption of work on the Lowari tunnel project and had launched a movement in early 2001 to press the military government to restart work on the project, which was abandoned in 1977.

It seems that ‘Musharraf card’ is being successfully used by the APML candidate who is approaching the people with the plea that he would vacate the seat for Pervez Musharraf as and when his cases were decided and he was cleared to participate in political process. 

The Awami National Party has fielded Syed Muzaffar Ali Shah Jan for the seat, while Pakistani Tehrik-i-Insaf’s Abdul Lateef is contesting the polls for the National Assembly. The district has two constituencies of provincial assembly, PK-89 (Lower Chitral) and PK-90 (upper Chitral) but here the Musharraf factor is not working well because the people wanted to exalt only the former dictator for Lowari tunnel project not any other else.

The number of total voters in the Chitral district is 206910. In PK-89, Maulana Sher Aziz of Jamaat-i-Islami may give a tough contest to the independent candidate Sartaj Ahmed Khan who leads a splinter group of PPP while Maulana Abdur Rahman of JUI and Shahzada Khalid Parvaiz of APML are also ub hot pursuit of success. In PK-90, Syed Sardar Hussain of PPP, Rahmat Ghazi Khan of Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf and Maulana Hussain Ahmed of JUI are the main contestants while Jamaat-i-Islami has very slim chances of triumph as it has fielded a non-local candidate for the seat.

Meanwhile, the turnout may go high as compared to the last general elections which were held in winter season during which most of the people leave the district to seek employment in the down country and also Jamaat-i-Islami and the PTI had boycotted the polls.

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  1. Faiz says

    Me chahta hu k molana sb jeet jate.(I wished Maulana Saheb would have won).

  2. Jawad Ahmad Begal says

    Insha Allah Abdul Lateef of PTI will win,because we want a change in Chitral. We gave our votes to all parties and no one made a solid change in Chitral. But this time, we have decided to support the energetic man.

  3. Mohammad Khan, Peshawar says

    Enough is enough. The people of Chitral should understand and shatter the barriers created between them. These hatred and distances in the name of sect, ethnicity and even areas were created by the colonial powers and their stooges who ruled the area. We should realize the fact that first of all we are all human beings then Khowar speaking Chitrali and then Sunnis, Ismailis, Kalash or even good Muslims and not so good Muslims. Whenever in a city of Pakistan I came across two or more people speaking Khowar I feel intimacy with them and go and meet them like my own brothers. I never think what sect or qaum they belong to, all these are not an issue for me. We the new and the educated generation should work to promote our culture and Khowar language which are full of love, peace and respect for each other so that we can live in peace with ourselves and with others.

  4. Zakir Hussain says

    Wali sahab, there are no differences between our Sunni and Ismaili brothers; by using sectarian sentiments some people are trying to divide the people of Chitral. Abdul Akbar Chitrali is an honest and clean man and after the withdrawal of Pervez Musharaf, there is little chance for anyone else to compete with Abdul Akber. The PPP candidate for NA-32 is only a gap filler. PTI and ANP keep weak standing in Chitral.

  5. M. Wali, Mastuj says

    If Maulana Abdul Akbar wins the elections it would be the misfortune of the people of Chitral. He lost a chance to bridge the gap between the two communities of Chitral by working for a particular community from 2002 to 2007. Now it is learnt that Maulana Abdul Akbar during his election campaign visited the Yarkhun valley but met people only in those villages where there are some households belonging to the Ahle Sunnat community. If this is the thinking of the Jamaat leader, how he can be considered as the leader of whole Chitral.

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