By Fakhar Alam

PESHAWAR, Aug 04 (APP)::A history was made on July 20 when tribal people of erstwhile Fata elected 16 members to provincial assembly in a transparent and peaceful election by completing the challenging process — bringing the people of the tribal areas to national mainstream for making them stakeholders in decision-making.

The decades’ long political struggle of tribal people for allocation of special general seats in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly bore fruits as election was peacefully conducted with a good turned out of voters. The voters including males and females thronged to polling stations for the first time in the parliamentary history of Pakhtunkhwa Assembly to elect their representatives.

As result of the historic elections, 16 members of the provincial assembly (MPAs) were elected; five from PTI, three JUIF, one each Jumat-e-Islami (JI), Awami National Party (ANP) and six were elected as independent candidates while the major political parties i.e. PPP and PML-N could not secure any seat.
 
According to ECP, PK-100 and PK-101 seats in Bajaur tribal district were comfortably won by PTI’s Anwar zeb Khan with 19,951 votes and Ajmal Khan with 12,194 votes whereas PK-102 Bajaur-III constituency was bagged by JI’s Sirajud Din Khan with 19,088 votes.

Similarly, PK-103 Mohmand district-I seat was clinched by ANP’s Nisar Muhammad Khan with 11,247 votes and PK-104 Mohmand-II by Independent Abbas Rehman with 11,751 votes. 

All the three constituencies of Khyber tribal district were won by independent candidates including PK-105 by Shafiq Sher Afridi with 19,733 votes, PK-106 by Bilawal Afridi with 13,814 votes and PK-107 by Muhammad Shafiq with 9796 votes respectively. 

JUIF’s Muhammad Riaz has secured victory on Kurram tribal district’s PK-108 with 11,948 votes and PTI’s Iqbal Hussain Mian gets victories on PK 109 with 39,536 votes. The lone PK-110 Orakzai tribal seat was clinched by independent Gazan Jamal, who obtained 18,448 votes. 

PTI’s Iqbal Hussain has won PK-111 with 10,200 votes and independent Mir Kalam with 12,057 votes grabbed PK-112 North Waziristan. 

In South Waziristan, JUIF’s Maulana Aasamud Din clinched victory from PK-113 with 10,356 votes and PTI Naseerullah Khan bagged PK 114 with 11,114 votes. The lone PK-115 seat of ex Frontier Region was secured by JUIF Muhammad Shoaib with 18, 102 votes. 

PTI has emerged as a single major political party during the election after independent MPAs-elects Shafiq Afridi and Ghazan Jamal had formally joined it by increasing its strength from five to seven.
 
The number of PTI MPAs’ in KP assembly has reached to 92 and is in strong position to get three women reserve and one minority seats, thus its total number would reach to 96 in the house. In case of inclusion of one more independent MPA, PTI will get 2/3rd majority in the assembly and it would be for the first time in the parliamentary history of the province that a political party will get two-third majority in the house. 

Similarly, the total number of MPAs of JUIF will reach to 16 after inclusion of three tribal MPAs and ANP’s strength would reach to 12 and JI to two with inclusion of one MPA each in the provincial assembly. Following election of 16 MPAs, four women and one minority seat, the number of total MPAs in KP has jumped to 145 from 124 and PTI was now in a strong position to make legislations single handedly for well being of masses.  

Around 0.7 million voters have exercised their right to votes during the landmark election as around 4,10,000 votes were secured collectively by candidates of different political parties and 2,69,000 by independents.

The total voters turned out remained 26.2pc including male voters ratio 31.4pc and women voters 18.6pc during the election. The ratio of male polled vote remained 71.3pc and female ratio 28.6pc. High turned out of female voters was witnessed in PK 109 Kurram-II where turnout remained 44.5 pc and the lowest turned out ie 16.4pc was recorded at PK-113 South Waziristan.

Talking to APP, Chairman Political Science Department, University of Peshawar Dr AZ Hilali said, “The successful holding of election in merged areas was a historic achievement as it has smoothly completed process of bringing erstwhile Fata into mainstream.” He said great responsibility are now rest on shoulders of the elected MPAs who would raise problems of tribal people in KP Assembly besides monitoring the process of development on ground in their concerned areas.

Now the focus should be made on socio-economic development including health, education, communication, agriculture, housing, livestock and speedy justice through strengthening of police and judicial system, he added. 

Provincial Minister for Environment and Forests, Syed Ishtaiq Urmar said people of merged areas have endorsed the policies of Prime Minister Imran Khan and rejected the hallow slogans and negative politics of opposition. He said the election results showed that tribal districts are the stronghold of PTI-led government as it was the only party to address people’s problems and bring the hitherto neglected areas into national mainstream of development.