ISLAMABAD, Oct 19: Though the election tribunal is to take up the PK-90 election dispute on October 22 in Peshawar, there seems no end to the saga.
This long-drawn battle between the sitting MPA Ghulam Muhammad and his runner-up Sardar Hussain of the PPP has badly affected the chances of development in the backwards constituency. But the lighter side of the story is that, the tug of war and the suspense have become a popular pastime for the people of not only upper Chitral but the whole valley.
The commission sent to Chitral by the tribunal after recounting the rejected and postal ballots gave one-vote victory to the PPP but the APML legislator is sharpening his knives even against the commission members accusing them of siding with his rival. After hearing about the one-vote lead even though prior to any decision by the election tribunal, the supporters of the PPP candidate could not resist taking out a rally and opening firing in jubilation in Parwak and other villages of upper Chitral.
ChitralToday spoke to a number of people from a cross-section of society to know what they thought about the two candidates and the end result of the legal battle. Syed Wali Shah, a resident of Khuz village, said Sardar Hussain is a true leader who needs no further clarification in winning the PK-90 provincial assembly seat after his one-vote lead in the recounting of rejected and postal ballots. Ghulam Hussain, of Kishmaja in Sonoghur, however, said the winner would be Ghulam Muhammad as he spearheaded lots of development work in subdivision Mastuj. When asked why he was so keen about Ghulam Muhammad’s success, he said a leader should be economically sound enough so that he could deliver without amassing ill-wealth, adding GM had entered the race with the sole objective of serving the masses.
Zuhuruddin, a banker from Torkhow tehsil, said that the victory of Ghulam Mohammad would expose those trying to manipulate the mandate of people by making it controversial out of sheer frustration. Usman Khan, a resident of Dizg village who claimed to be a diehard supporter of Gen Musharraf, said: “Democrat, dictator, general or whatever my vote will always be for Musharraf. I’m just waiting to see the day when the eagle (the election symbol of APML) will fly above the valley, winning everyone’s heart”.
A Khowar singer, Usman prayed for the former military general’s success and added: “Tundi-e-baad-e-mukhalif sei na ghabra ei uqaab, Yeh tao chalti hei tujei uncha uranei k liyei”. Javed Akbar Khan of Lon village was all praise for Sardar Hussain, saying such a talented man who has all the qualities of a potential leader should be given a chance to represent Chitralis, adding a man of Sardar Hussain caliber will bring nothing else but glory to Chitral.
“I would love to see him delivering a hard-hitting speech with mixed English, Urdu, Pashto and my sweet Khowar in front of these Pasthtoons who have been dominating the province, depriving us of our share due to ineffective leadership”, he added. Some people who wished not be named declared it a battle between two tribes terming it a blow to the development of the area due to power lust of both the candidates.]]>