Uncertainty in Chitral but upsets cannot be ruled out on May 11

CHITRAL, May 8: As the May 11 elections are approaching, there is uncertainty among the voters in all the three seats of Chitral. Some people also say that there may be upsets especially in the two provincial assembly seats of PK-89 and PK-90. 

Elections 2013 are also significant in the sense that Shahzada Mohiuddin, who dominated the local politics since 1985, has called it a day due to old age and poor health and it is uncertain whether any of his two sons will be able to retain the importance he held in the politics of Chitral for decades despite the fact that Musharraf factor is in their favour this year.

Though it appears that in the National Assembly seat the contest will be between Maulana Abdul Akbar and Shahzada Iftikharuddin, things can take any turn at the eleventh hour. After the APML decision to boycott the elections in the country, its candidates in Chitral are working hard to make the people believe that Musharraf has allowed them to contest. This has also badly affected their election campaign.

Keeping aside the Mushharraf factor, one thing is also sure that like his father Shahzada Iftikharuddin will hardly be able to retain the traditional votes the old Shahzada used to bag from different clans in all parts of the district. If not too much some of his votes this time will go to Irshad Alam Mukarar of Drosh whose Biradari has over 26,000 votes in Chitral.

And to the detriment of Maulana Abdul Akbar, the solid votes of the JUI-F will not come to his way as his Jamaat-e-Islami and the religious party led by Fazlur Rehman failed to strike an electoral alliance this year. But it is also learnt that in upper Chitral Maulana Abdul Akbar has succeeded to win new votes. It is alleged that during his recent visit to the Yarkhun valley he tried to woo the voters by promising that if he won the seat he would ensure the visit of Prince Karim Aga Khan to the area.

Apart from these two candidates, the PPP has around 15,000 to 20,000 solid votes in Chitral while the PTI will also get a significant number of votes. As a result, whoever wins the seat it is for certain that the margin of votes will be very low. In Pk-89, there are too many contestants and an upset here cannot be ruled out.

The PPP stands divided and it seems that its candidate may even find it difficult to retain his votes in the Garam Chashma valley. Former MNA Shahzada Mohiuddin reportedly spent a huge sum of funds in lower Chitral to pave the way for his son but it seems that Khalid Pervez is now heavily relying on the Musharraf factor to win the votes.

Because of his personal links and popularity in the Koh area, Abdul Wali Khan Advocate of Aftab Sherpao’s Qaumi Watan Party has also become a strong candidate. He has tactfully opted for the provincial assembly seat after fielding Irshad Mukarar for the National Assembly seat. In PK-90, the fight seems to be between Sikendarul Mulk, Ghulam Mohammad, Sardar Hussain of the PPP and the PTI candidate. But Saeed Ahmed of the PML-N may upset them if voters in his home valley of Torkhow once again support him en masse. He also has some solid votes in other areas.

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