5 NA seats in Peshawar bring stalwarts on field for Feb 8 contest

A car passes by an election billboard along a road in Peshawar on December 22, 2023, ahead of Pakistan´s general elections. — AFP
A car passes by an election billboard along a road in Peshawar on December 22, 2023, ahead of Pakistan´s general elections. — AFP
  • Candidates will also contest for 13 provincial seats.
  • Peshawar earlier had 14 representatives in KP assembly.
  • ANP veteran Ghulam Ahmad Bilour to also contest for NA seat.

PESHAWAR: Several political heavyweights are gearing up to contest for the five crucial National Assembly seats in the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the upcoming general elections on February 8.

There are five NA and 13 provincial seats up for grabs in Peshawar’s constituencies. The city earlier had 14 representatives in the KP assembly after the 2018 general elections; however, it lost one seat following the fresh delimitation.

In 2018 polls, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidates won all five NA seats from the provincial capital, but three of them are no longer the party’s members. This time around, the PTI candidates are contesting the elections as independent candidates after the party lost its iconic electoral symbol ‘bat’ following a Supreme Court ruling upholding the Election Commission of Pakistan’s verdict on the electoral symbol granted to Imran Khan’s political party.

In NA-28 Peshawar-1, former speaker Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Kiramatullah Chagharmati of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) is contesting against former Member National Assembly (MNA) Noor Alam Khan of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F).

Another former lawmaker Sajid Nawaz of PTI, former provincial minister Hafiz Hashmat of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and Muhammad Fayyaz Khan of Awami National Party (ANP) are also in the run for NA-28 comprising the northern villages of the provincial capital.

Noor Alam was elected MNA from this constituency in 2018 on a PTI ticket but he later parted ways with the party. Sajid Nawaz won from the area in 2013 as the PTI candidate. Kiramatullah is another strong contender in this constituency.

In NA-29, former MNA Arbab Amir Ayub is a candidate of the PTI while other frontrunners included former MPA Saqibullah Chamkani of ANP, Akhundzada Irfanullah Shah of JUI-F, Malik Amjad Awan of PPP and Ghulam Muhiyuddin of JI.

Amir Ayub was elected MNA from this area on the ticket of PTI in the previous election.

In NA-30 Peshawar, former PTI MNA Shandana Gulzar is contesting against Nasir Musazai of JUIF, Arbab Zain Umar of ANP, Raees Khan of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Kashif Azam of JI and Misbahuddin of PPP.

Nasir Musazai won the polls from the area in 2018 as the candidate of PTI but he joined the JUI-F last year. Shandana was elected MNA on a reserved seat for women in 2018.

In NA-31, former MNA Arbab Sher Ali of PTI is flexing muscles against former federal minister Arbab Alamgir of PPP, Pir Haroon Shah of ANP, Muhammad Saeed Jan of JUI-F, Sobia Shahid of PML-N and Imdad Khalil of JI.

Arbab Sher Ali was elected MNA from the area in the 2018 general election as a PTI contender. Arbab Alamgir also remained MNA from this area in 2008.

In the inner city, a seasoned politician and former federal minister, who is a nominee of PTI, Abidullah Yousafzai of PPP, Hussain Madani of JUI-F, Sher Rehman of PMLN and Tariq Mateen of JI in the NA-32.

In the 2018 general election, Shaukat Ali of PTI was elected MNA after defeating Ghulam Bilour. Former prime minister Imran Khan also won the seat in the by-election in 2022 while Bilour was the runner-up.

The PTI has nominated its former MPA Asif Khan after Shaukat Ali quit the party. Several PTI workers have filed papers from the area who are still on the run against Asif Khan and others.

Besides, the PPP candidate was a senior member of ANP until recently who quit the nationalist party just before the polls after he was not allotted a ticket. Another candidate, Sher Rahman, also quit the ANP just before the polls after he was denied the ticket.

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