Families to go against each other on Feb 8 in KP

PESHAWAR(PEN) : As voters gear up for the elections, some families in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will see a heated competition amongst them as many close family relatives are running for national and provincial assembly seats in the province, reported on Thursday.

Those, who have thrown their hats into the ring, include Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-Parliamentarians (PTI-P) Chairman Pervez Khattak and his sons.

The former defence minister’s children will face off against their uncle Liaqat Khattak on two provincial assembly seats in Nowshera. Liaqat Khattak is a former provincial minister and younger brother of the PTI-P chief.

Khattak, who was elected as Member of National Assembly (MNA) on a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) ticket in 2018 general election, has fielded his sons Ibrahim and Ismail for PK-85 and PK-86 Nowshera, respectively.

The former KP chief minister himself is contesting for NA-33 and PK-88 and PK-87 on his newly founded party ticket. His son-in-law and former MNA Dr Imran Khattak will contest for NA-34 and PK-89 on February 8.

PTI-P chief’s brother Liaqat will contest the polls on a Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) ticket from PK-87. He was elected as Member of Provincial Assembly (MPA) on a PTI ticket in 2018 general election.

Similarly, in a tit-for-tat move Liaqat’s son Ahad will go up against his uncle Pervez for PK-88.

Apart from this family contest, the seat also has other strong candidates in the form of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) Ikhtiar Wali Khan, Awami National Party’s (ANP) Jamshed Khan and PTI-backed Mian Mohammad Umar.

In Swabi, former PTI MNA Usman Khan Tarakai will go up against his nephew Shahram Tarakai, son of PTI Senator Liaqat Khan Tarakai, for NA-20. Usman was elected as MNA in 2013 and 2018 general elections from that seat.

Interestingly, the PTI has also awarded a ticket to Shahram’s younger brother Faisal Tarakai for one provincial assembly constituency in Swabi. However, rather than facing off people from within the family, his main rivals will be the ANP and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

On the other hand, Shahram in fear of arrest is not running his election campaign and in his replacement, his father Senator Liaqat has picked up the gauntlet to drum up support for his son.

In Kohat, though the two brothers Amjad Afridi and Abbas Afridi are not directly contesting against each other, the latter is a candidate of PML-N for NA-35 and PK-91 while the former is running for PK-90 from where he was elected thrice as an independent. They are the sons of PPP Senator Shamim Afridi.

In Mansehra, the Awami National Party (ANP) has given a ticket to former JUI-F MPA Zarin Gul Khan for PK-41. On the other hand, Zarin’s younger brother former PTI MPA Zar Gul Khan is vying for NA-15 on a PPP ticket.

Zarin has been part of the KP Assembly before but had left the ANP after developing differences with the leadership and joined the JUI-F. He was elected MPA in the 2013 general election.

His younger brother Zar returned to the provincial assembly on a Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid ticket in the 2002 general election. He was reelected as MPA on the PTI ticket in by-polls.

In Chitral, two brothers Shehzada Iftikharuddin and Shehzada Pervez are contesting the upcoming polls from different political platforms with the former contesting on a PML-N ticket for NA-1 while the latter will compete for PK-2 on PTI-P’s ticket.