PK-90: Expert sees no change in status quo

By Zulfiqar Ahmad
ISLAMABAD, Oct 2: As unofficial results of the recounting of rejected votes and postal ballot papers in PK-90 upper Chitral could not give a clear edge to any of the two candidates, it is difficult to say anything about the prospects of the tribunal’s verdict and its aftermath at this moment. However, ChitralToday talked to Kanwar Muhammad Dilshad, a former secretary of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), to seek his expert opinion on the matter.
kunwarWhen informed about the unofficial results obtained by ChitralToday, the former secretary ECP told this correspondent that since APML’s Ghulam Muhammad is the incumbent member of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial assembly, he has the right and can obtain a stay order from the high court in case the tribunal decides to declare his rival as the winner based on the single vote.
“The issue has become quite complicated [and] now it is not that easy as people think. Nobody, including the incumbent MPA, will accept disqualification so easily because there are lots of options, e.g. you can approach the Supreme Court seeking justice and this is for sure that the issue has hit snags,” he maintained.
When asked to comment about the prospects of PPP candidates’ victory, he said that any decision by the tribunal would not benefit the rival candidate – Sardar Hussain – as the case would be prolonged if his opponent [Ghulam Muhammad] drags the issue to the court.
To a question about rejecting the votes of APML candidate on the pretext that his name was not registered as Haji Ghulam Muhammad with the election commission, he said it should not have been made the condition as there was no other candidate with the same name.
If there was another candidate with the same name, as the case was with Sardar Hussain, it would have been justified to reject his votes but if there was one Ghulam Muhammad he should not be targeted on the pretexts of Haji or Alhaj.
About the chances of re-elections as massive irregularities were found in the recounting of the rejected votes and postal ballots, he Mr Dilshad said that the Election Commission had no power to order re-election as it is the tribunal which has the mandate to decide the fate of both the candidates.
He added that there are strong indications that the issue would be prolonged by the sitting MPA as he would be left with no option but to approach the court against the decision of the tribunal and to secure his seat.

It’s yet to be known what the tribunal is going to decide but to me it seems the person who is the incumbent MPA will challenge the decision in the court if the decision goes against him. The matter will be prolonged and the court will grant him a stay order. He can retain his seat and God knows how much time it will take,” Kunwar Muhammad Dilshad.

However, independent analysts say that Sardar Hussain of PPP who portrays himself a feisty underdog is still in trouble despite one vote lead against his archrival in the recounting of postal ballots. They said that in the first instance, Ghulam Muhammad would not accept the lead in case of any decision against him, adding the issue would certainly be taken to the court and he would carry on as the member provincial assembly, creating further troubles for his rival Sardar Hussain.

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4 Replies to “PK-90: Expert sees no change in status quo”

  1. The upcoming verdict of Peshawar High Court (PHC) election tribunal will be considered as a major political defeat for both the parties in the run for PK-90 Chitral II.
    As per unofficial results obtained by this online daily, the fate of both the candidates hangs in the balance. Sardar Hussain seems more vulnerable compared to his rival Ghulam Muhammad as the recounting saga went against the jiyalas.
    The PPP diehard wanted to turn Chitral into Ghari Khabaksh but the move backfired and the area is still considered a stronghold of Gen Pervez Musharraf, who some insiders believe is contemplating to jump into the fray in future after settling the politically orchestrated cases against him.
    With the hotheaded commando back in action let us say five years down the road, the rest of the parties stand very bleak chance including the hardcore Islamists who always boast of having a great popularity.
    The reason for giving so much leverage to Gen Musharraf is that he accomplished the gigantic task of constructing Lowari tunnel – a longstanding demand of the area. If the PPP of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto is still somewhat popular among the people of mountains it is because he fulfilled some major demands of the people.
    The decline in popularity graph of PPP in Chitral is mainly due to lack of committed leadership as some self-proclaimed jiaylas instead of working for establishing the party focused on self projection, giving priority to kith and kin.
    This approach by senior party leaders like Zainul Abideen, late Syed Ghafoor Shah, Begum Shehzadi Suleman, etc. paved the way for some unknown political enthusiasts like Saleem Khan to encroach upon the party.
    Now, the PPP is facing serious troubles as cracks have started emerging within its ranks and anti-Saleem Khan (PPP district president), lobbies headed by Eidul Hussain are actively mulling future strategy in face of fast-changing situation in the political landscape of Chitral.
    The ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) headed by its district president Saeed Ahmed, known for chagrining his loyalties, is also destined to fail as his party has nothing in its credit if development of the area is made yardstick to measure the popularity of the party.
    The future also holds nothing special for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), as the flying birds – the youth – are still busy in gathering nesting materials to the site they have chosen to settle – na rakh umeed-e-wafa kisi parindei sei Wasi, Zara per nikal ayein apna hi ashyana bhul jatei hein.
    The molvi brigade is equally suffering due to fast changing political scenario. All their tricks to exploit people in the name of religion have almost flopped after some committed jamati members also voted Musharraf in May 11 general elections, openly flouting their party policy.

  2. Chitrali people may suffer more due this deadlock…Chitral would be more prosperous and chitralis more happy, if these two politicians are banned for life…

  3. Former secretary ECP Kunwar Muhammad Dilshad has clearly given his analysis about the fate of the two candidates. I would like to add one thing. Had there been 10 more candidates with the name of Ghulam Muhammad it would have made no impact on the voters because people of upper Chitral supported the Ghulam Muhammad of the APML only for Musharraf. Second, in case there is a deadlock, under no law GM can be de-seated. So it is like double victory for the APML.

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