General elections: political hobnobbing begins
August 17, 2012
Different political parties in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are holding consultations and secret meetings to get their due share in the next caretaker government which is expected to be set up before the announcement of schedule for the next general elections. In this regard the PPP, PML-N, ANP and JUI seem very active. According to sources, some of them have agreed to give final touches to the consultations for the formation of caretaker government. It is believed that the caretaker chief minister will be an impartial and apolitical personality; however, the ministers will be appointed from different political parties and that is why all political parties have started lobbying for it.
According to some observers the ANP, PPP and JUI are expected to be the part of the caretaker cabinet, but on the other hand the PML-N is not lagging behind as the party chief Mian Nawaz Sharif has given a special task to PML-N Central Senior Vice President Ameer Muqam to tour the far and wide particularly the Malakand Division, Peshawar and Hazara division besides southern districts to meet political influential personalities and important office-bearers of other political parties and make them join PML-N. For this purpose Ameer Muqam along with other party stalwarts, including provincial president Peer Sabir Shah, ex-CM KPK Sardar Ahmed Khan Abbasi and ex-provincial minister Fareed Khan Toofan, will visit these areas.
The PPP leadership is also considering different options to make the party popular among the masses which has badly losing its image due to unscheduled load shedding, sky soaring prices of different commodities and petroleum products and has given the task to Anwer Saifullah Khan and the expected next party president replacing Sardar Ali Khan. However, his journey towards the goal seems very hard and troublesome because being in power for the last four and a half years the party leadership has failed to deliver.
Political analysts have also expressed similar views about the fate of ANP as people also believe it is equally responsible for their hardships as there are lengthy load shedding intervals even during Iftar, Sahri and Taraveeh. According to them any hope for the PPP and ANP alliance or seat to seat adjustment in future seems bleak as the PPP provincial leadership has totally refused to go for the election together with the ANP. This new situation has also badly disturbed the ANP leadership which is earnestly looking for a new partner and allies to fight general elections. There is only one option for it which is PML-N as more and more major political figures are joining its folds. The ANP can also contact the JUI-F but contrary to the 2008 elections the JUI-F will not prove so beneficial because at that time the JUI-F was part of dozens of religious parties under the umbrella of MMA.
Meanwhile, after their restoration the NATO containers are continuously attacked by unknown gunmen and so far two of NATO containers have been torched at Chaman border while near Jamrud Khyber Agency two drivers lost their lives. According to details, a remote control bomb was planted on Jamrud bypass about half a kilometer from Jamrud Bazaar which blew off with a bang when a NATO container was passing by. However, no one was killed in the incident and the driver successfully escaped along with the container.
An eyewitness told Pulse that the remote control bomb was planted along the Jamrud bypass road and when a NATO container drew near it blew off but no one was killed and only the windscreen container was broken. Khasadars opened aerial firing to avert any untoward incident. The container driver managed to take the vehicle away. After checking, the container was allowed him to go.
Expressing concern, the ex-president of youth association Irfanullah Afridi told media that it was the third incident of its kind after the NATO supply restoration where in the previous two incidents the container drivers were killed by the militants. According to news reports, no organization has so far accepted responsibility for the blast while earlier it was accepted by the spokesman for Abdullah Azzam Brigade.
The tribesmen have criticized the political administration and blamed that the killing of the two drivers was the result of negligence of political administration. They demanded that either the government should allow the passage of oil tankers via Jamrud Road to Torkham or it should provide foolproof security to all supplies.
Compelled by the mass agitation against load shedding, an angry mob tore and burnt the portraits of ANP leaders at its APC which was boycotted by the mainstream opposition parties including PML-N, PPP-S, JUI-F, PTI, JI as it was not an APC but a one-party show and a drama which was only attended by the ruling parties like PPP and PML-Q. Instead of raising their voice against load shedding the participants, particularly the chief speaker Ameer Haider Hoti, only enumerated his government’s so-called achievements during the four and a half year rule no one seriously spoke of or discussed the energy crisis and other problems facing the masses.
Analysts say the ANP thought if its APC was a success it will be able to pressurize the central government and her position will improve once again in the province but the opposition parties totally boycotted the so-called APC. According to them, after a failed APC the ANP position in the province will be badly affected and it would be very difficult for it to find winning candidates in the coming elections. So will be the fate of the PPP and PML-Q which have already lost their image in the eyes of the people.