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Voters in Chitral & Ghizer disenchanted with mainstream parties

polls2After coming to power in the KP province, the PTI-led provincial government introduced its own version of the local government in place of the one introduced by the Musharraf government in 2001. Elections held under the new local government system put the alliance of Jamaat-e-Ismali and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam back on the saddle. Now the two religious parties are well set to form the district government and have also gained a comfortable majority in the two tehsils of Chitral and Mastuj. However, there was a big contrast in GB where the voters rejected the religious parties in the elections who could only score a couple of seats in the 24-member house. In the 2013 elections, the lone seat of the National Assembly in Chitral and one of the two provincial assembly seats were won by the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) of former president Pervez Musharraf while the provincial assembly seat of lower Chitral went to the PPP. However, a year later the APML MPA from upper Chitral lost the seat to the PPP in the recounting and re-polling in seven polling stations. When the local government elections were held, neither the PML-N which is in power in the centre nor the PTI ruling in the province could impress the voters. The reasons were clear: the PTI despite making claims could not make any visible improvement in the governance system while PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif failed to change the impression among the people of Chitral that he was from the day one against the construction of the Lowari tunnel and did not care for the development of the backward valley. So the religious political parties tactfully took advantage of the political vacuum. A somehow similar scenario was seen in the district of Ghizer when the GBLA elections were held there. The people of Ghizer rejected both the PPP and the PML-N even though the ruling party of Pakistan won a majority in other parts of Gilgit-Baltistan and is set to form a government. Observers talking to ChitralToday attributed the defeat of the PPP to the party’s failure to do anything for the remote area during its five-year tenure and the corruption of its ministers. Even Pir Karam Ali Shah, who ruled the roosts for over 45 years, did nothing except filling his own coffers. The people of Ghizer also rejected the PML-N perhaps after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during his two visits to the Gilgit city ignored the area while announcing development packages for Gilgit-Baltistan. During the five-year government of PPP in Gilgit-Baltistan, the people of Ghizer were totally ignored in the development sector. As a result, the PPP candidates lost from all the three seats of the district. One of the seats was won by the PTI, the second by nationalist candidate Nawaz Khan Naji and the third went to an independent.]]>

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