NWFP ministers cut office for electioneering
By Iqbal Khattak
PESHAWAR: The staff at NWFP ministers’ office were taking it easy, as the ministers had gone to their constituencies to muster support for the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal-backed candidates in the local elections, sources said.
“The minister is not available,” an attendant at a minister’s office told Daily Times.
Most provincial ministers had been absent from their offices and sources said that they had gone to their hometowns for electioneering.
According to reports, one of the ministers was advised bed rest because of dehydration resulting from electioneering. “The minister is dehydrated and resting,” his personal secretary said.
Reports said that Chief Minister Akram Khan Durrani was in Peshawar on Tuesday, chairing a meeting of police officials to review law and order arrangements for the polls. Unlike his cabinet ministers, he has not recently visited his hometown in Bannu, to get support for MMA-backed candidates.
Knowing that the minister is unlikely to return before August 18, the attendant of Fazle Rabbani, minister for excise and taxation, straightened his legs on a couch at the visiting-room.
Like the ministers, opposition leaders had also gone to their hometowns to campaign for their party-backed candidates.
Although the local polls were being held on a non-party basis, the provincial and federal ministers, political parties and “the establishment” are trying hard to get their candidates elected.
According to reports, Senior Minister Sirajul Haq was caught allegedly violating the election code of conduct by the chief election commission and a court banned him from entering Nowshera district till Thursday.
The ministers’ absence irked people, as they left their offices disappointed. “I came to meet the minister who promised me a temporary job,” said Syed Rehman outside the Culture and Sports minister’s office.
However, the ministers’ absence was welcomed by press information officers. They said that the ministers made them overwork to gain publicity, a press information officer said.