By Zulfiqar Ahmad
ISLAMABAD, April 16: The victory of All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) led by Gen Pervez Musharraf cannot be ruled out despite his disqualification by an election tribunal of Peshawar High Court from taking part in the upcoming general elections from NA-32 (Chitral).
People from diverse background while talking to ChitralToday on phone from Chitral expressed resentment and anger over the tribunal’s decision and vowed to give vote to even a deaf and dump for the sake of Musharraf.
They said if the opponents of Musharraf were celebrating Musharraf’s ouster thinking their victory was now sure, they are living in a fool’s paradise. The best way to take revenge from these political actors, they added, was to give them a humiliating defeat by electing a ‘Chitrali ghot (dump)’ from the platform of the APML.
The anger was of such a great magnitude that they said at least Maulana Abdul Chitrali and Abdul Lateef – two political actors who are yet to learn the ABC of politics – will be taken to task by the people of Chitral in a shape of a humiliating defeat in the elections.
A senior leader of a religious political party on the condition of anonymity said the way Maulana had reacted against Gen Musharraf was tantamount to stabbing at the back of all Chitralis and the people of Chitral would take revenge from him by giving him a humiliating defeat.
About Abdul Lateef of PTI, he said he really takes pity on the poor chap, saying he would not become a leader even after a hundred years. “It is their wishful thinking if they are optimistic to win elections with the ouster of Musharraf…voting to them [Lateef, Chitrali] is too far, we don’t even want to see their faces,” said the angry man.
Another prominent Chitrali, who also wished not to be named, said with a defamation campaign against Musharraf, Maulana Chitrali had earned nothing but hatred, adding it was again Prince Mohiuddin who had proved himself as a popular leader by extending support to Musharraf even halfheartedly for opening the Lowari tunnel. “We salute Mohiuddin for his support to Musharraf after all a prince is a prince and a molvi will always remain a molvi,” he declared.
Despite zero contribution as a member of parliament, Maulana claims ruthlessly of playing an active role in the opening of Lowari tunnel, he added. He could have earned respect among the people had he supported Musharraf or decided not to contest election as a goodwill gesture for Musharraf’s service to Chitral.
“The people of Chitral will never forgive this molvi the way he demonstrated against Musharraf for his own vested interests when Musharraf announced to contest elections from Chitral…the cleric’s actions speaks volume about his double standard as he has stamped his fate with a permanent tag of a radical cleric,” he lamented.
Moreover, the election campaign for former military general in the rugged mountainous valley is in full swing. The sources within APML revealed that the local leadership had been told to go ahead with the election campaigns with their fingers crossed.
Aasia Ishaq of APML said the people of Chitral will prove their loyalty with Musharraf by electing the candidates of his party as they were the representatives of their beloved leader Gen Pervez Musharraf.
It was also learnt that the supporters of Gen Musharraf and local artists have composed special songs eulogizing his services for Chitral, especially opening of the Lowari tunnel. The songs will be blasted from loudspeakers at rallies and from the backs of trucks that will be driving around villages where APML candidates will appear. Campaigns vie to come up with the catchiest tunes to energize their supporters at rallies that are often beer-fueled street parties.
By Zulfiqar Ahmad