ELECTIONS 2002 (Hazara Division): Friends turn foes in election battle
By Zamir Haider and Mohammad Imran
A gateway to the Karakoram Highway and the door to Pakistan’s Northern Areas, which boast some of the world’s highest mountain peaks, scenic valleys, deep gorges and fiercely flowing rivers, the Hazara Division has seen, for the first time in a decade, friends in the election field against one another. The Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), the Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid-e-Azam) and the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal are the main contenders in this area.
The city is known for its mild climate. According to the 1998 census, it has a population of 3.5 million, with 3.2 million living in the rural and 0.30 million in the urban areas. The Hazara division is an amalgamation of many tribes, casts and clans, which include the Tanoli, Swati, Tareen, Jadoon, Awan, Syed, Gujar, Abbasi, and some pockets of the Mughals and Qureshis. The people of this area are generally right-wing and inclined towards religion in this area.
The Hazara Division consists of five districts namely, Abbottabad, Haripur, Mansehra, Battagram and Kohistan.
There are two national assembly and five provincial assembly seats in Abbottabad. The district has a population of 0.88 million (0.722 million living in rural area and 0.157 million in urban areas). The Jadoon, Awan, Abbasi, Qureshi, Syed and the Sardar clans live here.
NA-17: This is a vast constituency with its major area in the rural area. Seven candidates are in the run on this seat. Two members of the Jadoon clan are rivals from this constituency. Amanullah Khan Jadoon of the PML-QA and Dr Azhar Khan Jadoon (independent) are set to give each other a tough time. Qaumi Jamhoori Party’s (QJP) Ali Asghar Khan , brother of late Omar Asghar Khan, is also set to give a hard time to seasoned politicians in this constituency. The MMA’s Habibur Rahman Abbasi and the PPPP’s Sardar Ibrar Ahmad are being considered as the ‘pressure groups’ in the constituency, which has traditionally been a stronghold of the PML-N.
Interestingly, Mr Amanullah was tipped as a winning candidate till NWFP former chief minister Sardar Mehtab was in NAB’s custody. But after his surprising release, Sardar Mehtab won the elections in 1997 by getting 55,341 votes, defeating Mr Amanullah Jadoon, who got 21,253 votes. Dr Azhar is enjoying a better position here as his relative, district nazim Col (r) Ghulam Mustafa Khan Jadoon, is supporting him.
The Jadoon tribe is supporting Mr Amanullah, who is an engineer and whose elder brother, Iqbal Khan Jadoon, became an MPA in 1970. In 1988, Mr Amanullah was elected as an MPA and his elder brother, Farid Khan Jadoon, was elected as an MNA. He also enjoys the support of the PML-N.
Mr Ali is the son of Air Marshal (r) Asghar Khan, who formed the Tehreek-e-Istaqlal in the 70’s. He can get sympathy votes because of his elder brother’s death and his reputation. The MMA’s contestant cannot be overlooked, as the people are right-wing and inclined towards religion. Locals believe the PPPP’s candidate is unlikely to make any impression.
NA-18: Eight candidates are in the run on this seat. A tough fight is on the cards between Sardar Muhammad Yaqoob of the PML-QA and Murtaza Javed Abbasi of the PML-N. This constituency extends to the small town of Havelian, 15 kilometres short of Abbottabad. The people of this area are generally opposed to changing loyalties.
Mr Abbasi is playing his cards here, although, his leader is in exile. An independent candidate, Nawabzada Jahangir Saeed Tanoli, has some respect in this constituency. Mr Tanoli’s elder brother, Nawabzada Salahuddin Saeed Tanoli, is contesting elections from NA-21 on the PML-QA’s ticket.
Nawaz Sharif returned successfully to National Assembly in 1993 and 1997 from this constituency. Murtaza Abbasi’s father Haji Javed Iqbal Abbasi brought Nawaz Sharif here and people of this area voted for him. Murtaza is banking on his father’s support and may get some sympathy votes as his father is in jail these days. He is also getting support from the former NWFP chief minister Sardar Mehtab. The MMA’s Rahim Shah is not a favourite among the locals, but religious segments in the rural areas are likely to support him. The PPPP has not fielded any candidate in this constituency.
PF-44: Nine candidates are in the run from this constituency. A triangular fight is expected between Inayatullah Khan Jadoon of the PML-N, Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani of the PML-QA and Shamroze Khan Jadoon of the PPPP. The QJP has fielded Shamim Akbar Simi Jadoon, who can be a tough competitor.
Inayatullah Jadoon is the nephew of Amanullah Khan Jadoon and is tipped to be a strong candidate
PF-45: Out of the 11 candidates, seven belong to the Abbasi clan. Sardar Mumtaz Husain Abbasi of the PML-N and Abdur Rahman Khan Abbasi of the PML-QA are expected to give each other a tough time. The MMA’s Muhammad Akram Abbasi is comparatively a weaker candidate.
PF-46: Out of the five in the run, Malik Mansoor Husain of the PML-N is expected to win from this constituency. Qaisar Zaman Afridi of the PML-QA has not much support. The MMA has not fielded any candidate here.
PF-47: Eight candidates are contesting the elections from this constituency. A tough contest is likely to take place between Sardar Aurangzeb Khan of the PML-N and Nisar Safdar of the PML-QA. The PPPP has not fielded any candidate in this constituency.
PF-48: 12 candidates are in the run here. Ishtiaq Azam of the PML-N stands distinguished in the constituency and has solid support.
There is one national assembly and four provincial assembly seats in Haripur. It has a population of 0.692 million (0.609 million in the rural area and 82,735 in the urban area). The Tareen, Raja, Awan, Qureshi and Syed are in a majority here.
NA-19: This constituency comprises of 44 union councils, extending to 130 kilometres, touching the Swabi border and Pir Sohawa on the Margalla hills. It has a population of 694,504. It is considered to be a stronghold of the Pakistan Muslim League. Veteran politician Gauhar Ayub Khan is not in the race because he did not qualify under the graduation condition.
Seven candidates are in the run from this constituency. A close contest between Omar Ayub Khan of the PML-QA and Pir Sabir Shah of the PML-N is expected. Omar is the son of Gauhar Ayub and the grandson of Gen Ayub Khan. He is in a very strong position because of his father’s hard work in this area.
Gohar Ayub won the 1997 elections by getting 73,150 votes. The perception is that Omar Ayub will come off with flying colours in this constituency.
Mr Shah, who preferred to remain loyal to Nawaz Sharif, was elected the NWFP chief minister in 1993, but later he was toppled and was replaced by Aftab Sherpao of the PPP. He is a strong candidate because many of his followers belong to his family. The MMA’s Ghulam Nabi Khan and the PPP’s Sardar Abdur Rauf Khan are comparatively weaker candidates in this constituency.
PF-49: Four candidates are in the field in this constituency. Raja Sheraz Haider of the PML-N is tipped as a strong candidate.
PF-50: Seven candidates are standing from this constituency. Yousaf Ayub Khan of the PML-N and Qazi Mohammad Asad Khan of the PML-QA are expected to give each other a tough time. Mr Yousaf is the grandson of Gen Ayub Khan.
PF-51: Five candidates are standing from this constituency. Syed Muhammad Mushtaq of the PML-N is considered to be a strong candidate.
PF-52: Five candidates are standing in this constituency. Faisal Zaman of the PML-QA is tipped to be the winning candidate on this seat.
The Mansehra district has three major valleys. Its population is 1,153,839 and has two national assembly constituencies. The total registered voters in both the constituencies are 637,992.
NA-20: This constituency is a stronghold of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) and only in 1988 did the Pakistan People’s Party win this seat. Since 1990, Sardar Muhammad Yousaf of the PML-N has been winning this seat. The total registered voters in the constituency are 316,008, including 1,72,488 male and 1,43,20 female voters.
The Gujjar, Swati, Awan and Syed are the main clans here. The Gujjar are the strongest followed by the Swati, the Awan and then the Syed. The Gujjars have been ruling here for the last 12 years. Sardar Muhammad Yousaf defeated Syed Qasim Shah in the 1990 elections as an independent candidate and then joined the PML-N.
This time, Shahjahan Yousaf is contesting on the PML-QA’s ticket as his father is out of the election race because of the graduation condition. Alhaj Syed Ghulam Nabi Shah of the MMA, Lt-Gen (r) Salahuddin Trimizi (independent), Muhammad Saqib Nawaz of the PML-N and Sardar Wiqarul Mulk of the PPPP are the other prominent candidates in the field.
NA-21: This constituency comprises of the Ougi, Sherghar,Buffa, Tanda, Phulra and Khaki areas. These are developing areas where the total registered voters are 321,984. Of those, 178,137 are male and 143,984 are female.
The Gujjars, Swati, Awan, Tanoli and the Syed are the major biradaries of the constituency. The Tanoli biradri is very strong has played a major role in the victory of the five-time MNA, Nawabzada Salahuddin.
Traditionally, the seat belongs to the PML-N. Since 1988, Nawabzada Salahuddin Saeed has been winning on this seat. In the 1988 elections, he won as an independent candidate and then joined the PML-N. He also defeated Syed Qasim Ali Shah in the 1993 and 1997 elections. Qasim Ali Shah contested the elections as an independent candidate.
Nawabzada Salahudin Saeed is contesting on the PML-QA’s ticket and is tipped to be a strong candidate. The other strong candidates in this constituency are Maulana Abdul Malik of the MMA and Faiz Muhammad (independent). He is likely to disturb the Nawabzada’s votes but is not in a position to win.
PF-53: Traditionally, this seat belongs to the PML-N. Tariq Khan Swati won the last three elections on this seat and now is contesting on ticket of the PML-QA. His biradri is very strong in this constituency. The other prominent candidates in the race are Muhammad Shuja Khan (independent) and Dr Syed Tariq Sherazi of the MMA.
PF-54: Shahzada Muhammad Gushtasip Ali Khan won this seat in the 1988 and 1990 elections. In 1993, Abdul Sattar Khan emerged successful on the PML-N’s ticket while Ashiq Raza Khan Swati, of the PML-N, won the elections in 1997.
This time, Syed Qasim Shah (independent), who is enjoying the district nazim’s support, and Maulana Qari Muhammad Afzal of the MMA are going to give each other a tough fight. A female candidate, Bibi Nargis Ali, of the PTI is also in the run.
PF-55: A tough clash is expected between former MPA’s, Shahzada Muhammad Gushtasip Ali Khan (independent) and Abdul Sattar Khan of the PML-QA. Mufti Kifayatullah of the MMA is also in the run.
PF-56: Three candidates are contesting from this constituency. They are Wajihuzzaman Khan of the PML-QA, Faiz Muhammad Khan (independent) and Qazi Gul Rahman of the MMA. A close fight is expected between Mr Zaman Khan and Mr Gul Rahman.
PF-57: Five candidates are contesting from this constituency. Ghulam Murtaza Tanoli (independent) is considered to be the winning candidate. Zulfiqar Ali of the MMA is ready to make a match out of it. The PPP-S has fielded Ghazala Habib in this constituency.
PF-58: Five candidates are contesting for the seat. The MMA’s Muhammad Zafar Ullah is considered to be the strongest candidate, though Zar Gul Khan (independent) has vowed to give him a tough time.
NA-22: This constituency comprises the developing areas with a total of 139,985 registered voters. Of those, 80,287 are male and 59,698 are female.
There are many biradaries living here. The Swati are strong in this constituency. In the 1988 elections, Haji Muhammad Ayub Khan won this seat on the IJI’s ticket. In the 1990 elections, Alam Zeb Khan won this seat on the JUI-F’s platform while in 1993 Haji Muhammad Ayub Khan of the PML-N and in 1997 Muhammad Nawaz Khan emerged successful.
Four candidates are contesting in this constituency. Qari Muhammad Yousaf of the MMA is in a strong position. His main rival is Muhammad Nawaz Khan of the PML-QA.
PF-59: Haji Muhammad Yousaf had an unbeaten record here since 1988. But this time he is not in the field. The MMA’s Alhaj Muhammad Ayaz Khan enjoys a solid support here and his main rival is the PML-QA’s Niaz Muhammad.
PF-60: This is considered to be the PML-N’s constituency as its candidate Haji Fateh Muhammad Khan won this seat in all the previous elections. But this time he is not participating the elections. The MMA’s candidate is in a strong position. A candidate of the Awami National Party, Muhammad Javed Khan, is also contesting.
NA-23: The total registered votes in this constituency are 215,512. Of those, 161,040 are male and 90,472 female. In 1988, Fazal-e-Haq of the IJI won this seat, Maulvi Muhammad Amin in 1990, Malik Saeed Ahmad in 1993 and Aurangzeb in 1997.
People are anxiously waiting for this match because of ex-federal minister for Kashmir and Northern Areas Abbas Sarfaraz Khan is contesting the elections on this seat as an independent candidate. His main rivals are Maulvi Abdul Haleem of the MMA and Mehboobullah Jan of the PML-QA.
PF-61: Nine candidates are in the election race. Independent candidates won this seat in the last four elections. In the last elections, some 20 candidates were contesting.
The strong candidates are Maulana Dildar Ahmad of the MMA, Didar Khan of the PPPP, Dr Muhammad Gir of the PML-QA and the Abdul Haq of the PTI.
PF-62: Traditionally, religious parties have strong support here. In 1988, Maulana Abdul Baqi won the seat on the ticket of the IJI, JUI-F’s Asmat Ullah in 1990 and 1993 and Muhammad Taus Khan in 1997.
Asmat Ullah is now contesting on the ticket of the MMA and enjoys strong support. Another prominent candidate is Mansoorul Haq of the PML-QA.
PF-63: Different candidates emerged successful here during the last four elections.
This time there are only four candidates in the run. The MMA’s Mahboobur Rahman has a winning edge against his opponent Muhammad Tayyab of the PML-QA.