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NA-261: Electioneering continues in Juniper forests

imageQUETTA: The election campaigns of different candidates were on rise in NA-261, Pishin-Ziarat without any fear in the area that is famous for third largest forests of Juniper in the world.

Official sources in the Provincial Election Commission Balochistan told APP here on Friday that count of registered voters from Pishin is 196,859 including 111,854 men and 85,005 women and from Ziarat, 51,742 including 27,549 men and 24,193 women.

They said that important candidates contesting for this seat include Maulana Agha Muhammad of Jamiaat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl, Muhammad Eisa Khan Roshan of Pashtoonkhawa Milli Awami Party, Abdul Wahab Barakzai of Pakistan People's Party, Muhammad Yousuf Khan Kakar of Pakistan Muslim League-N, Nawab Khan of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Haji Nizamuddin of Awami National Party, Syed Obaidullah Agha of PML-Q, Muhammad Anwar Khan Tareen of Mutahida Qaumi Movement and Malik Abdul Qayyum Kakar of JUI-N.

The final contest is being expected between candidates of JUI-F, PKMAP and JUI-N.The JUI-F has won this seat for several times and still it has a strong hold in this area, however, the polling results would decide the fate of the candidates.

Two major tribes dominate the population of this constituency including Tareen and Kakar.Some other tribes have also been residing in this region, however, tribal influence of Tareen and Kakar tribal elders used to decide the won of any candidate

Most of the people are religious and they used to vote for religious political parties, however, Pashtoon nationalist parties including PKMAP and ANP have also their remarkable vote bank in this constituency.

The mud-walls fort of family of former ruler of Pakistan, late Gen. Ayub Khan who belonged to Tareen tribe is located in Pishin that is in very dilapidated condition.The Quaid-e-Azam Residency in Ziarat attracts a large number of visitors.

In comparison with some parts of Balochistan, where election campaigns are in slow pace or suspended after some banned organisations started to target the convoys and election campaigns offices of candidates, the situation is better in NA-261, Pishin-Ziarat where candidates have been organising elections public gatherings and corner meetings without any fear.

Candidates have issued their manifestoes promising voters of providing them civic facilities and government jobs if they are voted and come in power.

But, it is a regrettable issue that no single candidate raises voice that he would put a halt to chopping of Juniper trees after coming in power.

It is noted here that influential dignitaries used to visit Ziarat where they hunt Markhor, Ibex, Chakor, Sisi and other precious wild animals and birds without any check as local officials and staff of Wildlife and other departments have also been blamed for providing them facilities for poaching.

Neither the candidates include determination in their manifestoes to halt cutting of Juniper trees and poaching of Markhor, Ibex and other endangered species wildlife nor they raise voice in their elections related speeches in this regard.

Pakistan Army has carried out several welfare projects for the local people especially those were badly affected by disastrous earthquake.The presence of army personnel in this region has also encouraged people to hold their public gatherings and run election campaigns without any fear.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2013


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