ISLAMABAD, Sept 6: After the directives of Peshawar High Court (PHC)’s election tribunal to recount the postal ballot papers and rejected votes in PK-90 upper Chitral to resolve the tug of war between the winner and the runner-up, PPP candidate Sardar Hussain has taken it as a done victory after a hard battle. In the May 11 elections, Sardar Hussain was declared the runner-up with 10,841 votes against 10,848 votes of his archrival Haji Ghulam Mohammad of the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML). The PPP candidate alleged that widespread rigging had deprived him of a sure victory. Later, he moved the tribunal for recounting of the votes. As directed by the tribunal on Sept 2, the recounting of the postal ballot papers and the rejected votes in PK-90 will be held in front of a one-man commission on September 12 in Peshawar. There were 2,995 rejected and about 2,000 postal ballot votes in the constituency. In an interview with ChitralToday (chitraltoday.net) on phone from Booni on Friday night, Sardar Hussain said he wanted to bring a marked change in the political approach of the valley.
I have been seeking an opportunity for the last over 30 years to end ‘the princely monopoly’ on the political landscape of Chitral. Now justice has been done to me with the vote recounting orders in PK-90 and I will fulfil my dream.”Without elaborating on the prospects of the vote recount and his future plan for his constituency of upper Chitral, the PPP diehard activist attacked former member National Assembly Shahzada Mohiuddin and accused him of exploiting the people of Chitral in connivance with the contractor mafia till his retirement from politics due to old age a year back. “He [Mohiuddin] ruled Chitral single-handedly using his blackmailing tactics with the help of these contractors [and] when his lovey-dovey days were over he once again managed to plant his son on the poor people of Chitral,” he maintained. To a question about the Lowari tunnel, work on which was abandoned during the tenure of his party, Sardar Hussain said the “innocent people of Chitral were blackmailed in the name of Lowari tunnel twice – first during the 2008 elections and then during the 2013 elections.” This will have serious repercussions in the long run. He claimed that ‘the princes’ of Chitral were actually the people who were against the construction of the Lowari tunnel to keep the Chitrali people cut-off from the rest of the country and hence backward to be ruled. “Prince Mohiuddin has no contribution in materializing the long-standing dream of the construction of Lowari tunnel rather he and other people of his clan wrote letters to more than 15 embassies opposing the construction of the tunnel. However, they miserably failed in their designs,” he maintained. The MPA hopeful also accused the incumbent member National Assembly Iftikharuddin of removing all the forest checkposts to give a free hand to the timber mafia to smuggle as much timber from Chitral as possible. “His brother smuggled timber worth Rs35 million along with a former provincial minister and this is the reason there is no forest checkpost from Bakrabad in Chitral till you enter the Dir territory,” he alleged.]]>