CHITRAL: A look at the list of candidates of political parties for the National Assembly (NA-1) and Provincial Assembly (PK-1) Chitral shows that all parties have tried to give equal representation to Upper and Lower Chitral except the PML-N.
The PTI nominated its district president Abdul Latif from Upper Chitral for the NA seat and Israr Suboor from Lower Chitral for the provincial assembly seat.
Jamaat-i-Islami and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam contesting the elections under the banner of MMA chose the candidates from both Upper and Lower Chitral by allotting tickets to Molana Abdul Akbar from Broz for NA-1 and Molana Hidayatur Rehman from Mulkhow for PK-1.
Another major party, the PPP, also distributed the two seats between Upper and Lower Chitral and fielded former MPA Salim Khan from Garam Chashma in Lower Chitral for NA-1 and former MPA Haji Ghulam Muhammad from Booni Upper Chitral for PK-1.
Even the APML of Gen Musharraf kept a balance and nominated Sultan Wazir from Upper Chitral for the NA seat and Shahzada Amir Hasnat alias Shazda Gul from Lower Chitral for PK-1.
Though Shahzada Iftikharuddin was elected to the National Assembly on the ticket of APML in 2013, he backed the PML-N right from the start and succeeded in getting funds for the Lowari tunnel and other projects. He then considered contesting the forthcoming polls on the ticket of the PML-N seeing it convenient to win votes on the basis the projects.
But the eleventh hour decision to field prominent lawyer Abdul Wali Khan even before he formally joined the PML-N for the provincial assembly seat can only be seen as a marriage of convenience.
The decision of the PML-N to nominate both the candidates from Lower Chitral for the two seats has created an impression that either the local chapter of the party had no suitable candidate in Upper Chitral or it believed that the lawyer would swing more votes than any candidate from Upper Chitral.
The decision has put the PML-N in an awkward position in Upper Chitral and sources told ChitralToday that the district leadership of the party was also not feeling comfortable with the choice of both the candidates from Lower Chitral. They said the unwise decision of the PML-N would give an opportunity to other parties to use it in their favour during the electioneering.