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I did not get votes in Musharraf’s name, says MNA

Shahzada Iftikharuddin

Zulfiqar Ahmad

ISLAMABAD, June 25: The All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) lone-member National Assembly from Chitral Shahzada Iftikharuddin remained silent when all political parties under pressure from an overactive judiciary vowed to try Musharraf for treason on Monday.

The prince, son of a former political heavyweight from Chitral, who tactfully used the name of Gen Musharraf to make his way to the dark power corridors, is now behaving like a blindfolded pigeon in front of  a hungry cat. In a telephonic interview with, Mr Iftikhar, blatantly negated the overwhelming emotions of Chitarlis, saying 75 per cent people voted against Musharraf in the May 11 general elections. In his politically woven argument, Mr Iftikhar quickly substantiated his claim that other political parties such as Jamat-e-Islami, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Paksiatn People’s Party, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam etc also managed to bag enough votes which showed a clear division of ideology.

To a question of his inability to raise voice for Musharraf as he was the only legislator representing the APML, he came out with an interesting reply: “I did not get a chance to speak as I arrived in the house after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had vented his anger against Musharraf.” He added: “I was a bit late in the session on Monday…when I reached there Nawaz Sharif had already spoken his heart out. Then Mehmood Khan Achakzai took the floor, followed by Khursheed Ahmed Shah, Sheikh Rashid and Ijazul Haq…then there was a break [and] afterwards the budget debate started [and] I got no chance,” he added.

The energetic prince went on to say that he was fully charged to vent his anger, adding he had made up his mind to speak on a appoint of order despite knowing 99.9 per cent legislators were against Musharraf. “But then he felt spiting venom like an infuriated cobra would cost Chitral dearly.” Another reason for his inability to speak on the floor of the house, Mr Iftikhar took great pride in, was his claim of quadrupling the allocation for the Lowari tunnel  from of Rs1 to 4 billion.

He said federal minister for finance Ishaq Dar and minister for planning and development Ahsan Iqbal had assured him to extend all-out support for the tunnel. He continued that the overwhelming majority, both inside and outside parliament, was against Musharraf and making any hue and cry through protest demonstrations in Chitral or in the parliament will make no difference as the heydays of Musharraf were long over.

“I’ve seen how Musharraf is going through the agony at his Chak Shehzad farmhouse due to house arrest…even then I’ll see him and seek his guidance what I should do as a member of parliament,” he maintained. When insisted that he should have at least protested, he said if he did his backward constituency would not be able to fetch a single penny during the coming five years. “At this stage, we have two choices either to do something for the people of Chitral by extending support to the government or go back to have a comfortable summer in Chitral and wait for another five years,” he added.

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  1. Dr Karim says

    Salam..good debate….but kindly remain in the disciplinary boundary of taking and talking about the national issues..every click…every moment you do, positive or negative, is being recorded in nature. If Mr Shahzada Iftikhar has and is telling a lie, he has to face in any stage during his lifetime. If he is mukhlis with Chitrali people and the former president Gen Musharraf, then he will get the reward. Being a Chitrali we must not tell a lie and try to gather all our resources to serve Chitral. All players on political ground do not benefit Chitral. Own those who know the importance of national interest and committed deeply and are involved. Its like fire and water to be earning for his own..enjoy..stay young..and develop Chitral…one has to chose one at a time…..

  2. Iftikhar Uddin says

    Denial of the Masala Added Story Titled “I did not get votes in Musharraf’s Name”
    I completely deny the title of the statement attributed to me concerning the article published in “Chitral Today” where in his overzealous pursuit of finding an eye catching and spicy title the learned journalist had blown things out of proportions by giving it a sensational twist. When contacted the journalist himself admitted that I had never used words as mentioned in the caption of the article and that it was his own interpretation of the conversation that took place on a phone call initiated by him. Therefore, once you take the title out of this story then the entire story loses its appeal and substance.
    To put the records straight everyone knows that the election in Chitral was a contest between at least ten different political parties where I represented General Musharraf’s APML. Simply put it was a contest between those supporting General Musharraf and the rest of the political parties opposing his nominees which was their democratic right. The people of Chitral are well aware of my pre and post election statements including my offer to General Musharraf to resign my National Assembly seat if the courts allow him to contest elections.
    That offer was given prominent coverage in both national and Chitral based newspapers. I projected the good works done by the Ex President in my TV interviews in PTV’s Newline which is also available on the net. A copy of my budget speech is also available where besides General Musharraf I had also praised Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto for initiating the Tunnel Project. In that speech I had said that Chitralis never forget their benefactors be it General Musharraf or Bhutto following which the Deputy Speaker had asked me to end my speech as such words may not be pleasing to the ears of those in the Government. I would also like to add that in the same budget speech I also said that Mian Nawaz Sharif’s Government can also carve out an image for itself in the hearts of Chitrali nation by providing funds to Chitral’s ongoing mega projects including Rs. 10 billion for Lawari Tunnel.
    In that telephonic discussion that took place two days ago, I did mention that I had met both the Minister for Finance as well as Planning and had put in writing the request for 4 billion rupees for Lawari Tunnel in addition to the revised costs estimates of the other mega projects of Chitral including Booni Buzund and Booni Shandoor Roads. It must be mentioned that the request was made 14 days ago and had nothing to do with the twisted story published in Chitral Today two day ago as I am duty bound to advance the cause of Chitral that must be promoted irrespective of routine politicking.
    The Chitrali nation must know the fact that revised costs estimates for the two road projects in Upper Chitral requires additional funds of 50 crores and 1.7 billion respectively not to mention Atahk Water Channel where a fresh feasibility study has been ordered after already wasting 140 million rupees_ precious resources that have gone down the drain at a very heavy cost to the poor and disappointed people of Mulkhow.
    I am steadfast to my election pledges and remain loyal to my party and its leader as well as the larger cause of Chitral in these testing times that require a far more serious attitude. I pray to Almighty Allah to give me the strength to represent the cause of Chitral with dedication and honesty and serve the greater cause of its downtrodden masses. One remains cognizant of the fact that Chitral has many problems but being an optimist I am also aware of the enormous hydro power, tourism and mineral potential of a district having one of the highest literacy rates in KPK.
    My humble request is let’s not sensationalize and play political football through such “masala added” stories at a time when General Musharraf is going through a difficult phase of his life by bravely facing the courts on the one hand and when the fate of more than half a million Chitralis is also at stake. As the combined requirements of the mega projects could swell well over Rs. 20 billion once the revised cost estimates of Atahk water channel are shared with all of us. Anyone watching TV can notice that I sit in the opposition benches and the Assembly session on that day came to an abrupt closure as announced by the speaker National Assembly unable to contain rowdy session amid lots of shouting by the PPP legislators once Ijaz Ul Haq was speaking. Copies of the recorded proceedings of that day are available from the national assembly.
    Any Chitral including myself must think beyond political point scoring and guard the interests of our poor area where the ultimate price for delays in such projects of vital importance will be paid for most by the poor sections of our society and not the types who have the luxury of passing and enjoying comments on the internet sitting in their cozy drawing rooms. I respect everyone’s views but have presented the facts as I know them as Allah is my witness. Iftikhar Uddin (MNA Chitral).

  3. Shujaat Ali says

    Agar musharafo nama vote ki no gani asus, Musharafo personal sectrio gani chhetrartu vote khiot mashkao osho. Musharafo nam no birua safansar kam vote ta basini la Iftikhar sb. Wadi election boni kia haya tan no, haty tima poshin boi kanduri vote nisini ta.

  4. Mohammad Khan, Peshawar says

    Dear all Chitralis, have patience. Our MNA is very young and highly educated, give him some time. He is saying and doing all this for our betterment and perhaps Musharraf has also asked him to adopt this course of action and not to speak too much.I assure you that within months, Rs 4 billion will be in his pocket and we will be tarveling through the tunnel round the year from this winter.

  5. Gahfoor Chitrali says

    Our MNA has made it clear to the people of Pakistan that the people of Chitral cannot be trusted, they are sycophants, cheaters, chickenhearted, opportunists to the core, liars, untrustworthy and it was a mistake of Musharraf to trust them. Our MNA could have caught the attention of the NA and the whole media of Pakistan had he demonstrated the guts to speak a word. He could have made his point loud and clear by saying that though he had been elected on APML ticket but for national good he was ready to support the govt. How childish and immature he looks when he says that a minister has promised to give priority to Lowari tunnel? I appeal to Chitralis to move the court against this man because under the law he has ceased to be the MNA. The ECP should hold another election on NA 32 and let this guy contest as an independent to see whether the 31,000 people of Chitral had voted him for Musharraf or his father.

    1. Saleem Khan says

      I agree with your point of view Mr Ghafoor. These people are joking with all Chitralis.

  6. Hassan Ali Shah, Islamabad says

    Dear, it’s the game of political parties – koi kise ka nhi hn is dunia me.

  7. Afzal Ali says

    Very poor statement by Shahzada Iftikharuddin. He has lost the chance of being elected again in future. It was very disappointed when he did not oppose the Musharraf trial statement of Nawaz Sharif in the assembly. He should realize that the assembly is not the house of Mian Nawaz or someone else! That is the point where every elected representative has the right to share their views and Iftikharuddin is our elected leader and he should shout and take part in all the debates. But he is afraid! I don’t know why?

  8. Zakir Hussain says

    This man has insulted the APML voters of Chitral. He has virtually become a LOTA but could not express that openly due to the Floor Crossing Act. He proved to be an Ibnul Waqt politician.

  9. Riaz says

    No surprise!

  10. M. Wali, Mastuj says

    I had heard of the Khowar proverb, Shapiro sum xuti khachmosum kelik (Run with the hare and hunt with the hounds) but have now practically seen it. Before May 11 we said Chitralis never forget their benefactors so we voted Musharraf. Iftikhar and his supporters never missed a moment in praising Musharraf to heat up the public sentiment even playing the Musharrafo khidmat song round the clock. But my question is why today Musharraf has become a traitor to be condemned. Is it our culture to fall so deep for the sake of personal gains. Nawaz Sharif never sought vote from Iftikhar rather he himself threw his vote into the PML-N gallery. Remember, despite boycott of the elections by Musharraf’s APML Iftikhar took part in the polls even inviting a woman representative of Musharraf to Chitral to make the people believe that he (Musharraf) had allowed the APML Chitral to take part in the elections. If Musharraf was so bad, why you and your brother joined his party, why you did not contest the elections from the platform of the PML-N? The people of Chitral had not given you votes to sell them for money.

  11. Suhail Hussain says

    No one is blaming our MNA for working in the best interest of Chitral and Pakistan. But our MNA should avoid such statements.”I did not get votes in Musharraf’s name”. OR
    “I did not get a chance to speak as I arrived in the house after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had vented his anger against Musharraf.”
    The seat of national assembly which is represented by Iftikharuddin (MNA) is still counted as a seat of APML Pakistan (the traitor’s party) and every native voter who had voted for APML or voted against APML in the area knows better about the realities and facts.
    I am not recommending to support Musharraf and his alone support won’t be enough to safeguard Musharraf. I suggest to think rationally beyond the political differences and one should avoid such statements.
    He is a development practitioner and I believe a little extra effort from his side will benefit the whole chitral. Best Wishes!!

  12. Junaid says

    We don’t need to support the ruling government and earn development funds for Chitral… Chitral is already the most developed of all districts. Now, instead of working for the develpment of Chitral by extending support to the present government, our MNA should support a traitor who will soon be charged with high treason!
    Salute to the mindset of the person who wrote this article and to those who are supporting it!!

  13. Israr says

    A question from the people of Chitral: Are you ready to let Musharraf be hanged only to increase the allocation for Lowari tunnel from 1 billion to 4 billion rupees?

  14. Nadir Khan, Karachi says

    My dear Chitralis, I had repeatedly warned you not to be emotional and use your brain before voting. You have lost to even speak for your genuine rights for the next five years, if the assemblies are not packed. The man who hijacked Mush’s popularity and became your MNA now has given you his first dose of sycophancy. It seems he has taken an oath not to speak in the assembly and when his turn comes he leaves the house sheepishly. Mr Iftikhar, why you are not mincing a word in support of Mush. Did Chitralis voted you as a gift to be presented to Nawaz Sharif. If you vote for Nawaz what did you get in return. Nothing. You will get nothing in future as well.

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