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ISLAMABAD: In a commendable move, the people from sectarian-volatile Kurram district voted for a Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen (MWM) candidate Hameed Hussain, backed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), who won the crucial National Assembly seat from NA-37, bringing the party into the mainstream parliamentary politics for the first time.

The victory of the MWM candidate from Parachinar will also help the embattled PTI to secure its reserve seats in the National Assembly, asking its independent candidates to join it since all the PTI candidates contested the February 8 general elections as independents.

There were a total of 34 candidates in the run from NA-37, Parachinar, Kurram District which represents, upper, lower and central Kurram, including the former federal minister for overseas Pakistanis and three-time MNA Sajid Hussain Turi of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), PTI-backed MWM’s Engineer Hameed Hussain, Jameel Khan (an independent), Asmatullah of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Pakistan, and others.

However, Hammed Hussain of the MWM was declared as the winner from the constituency by securing 58,650 votes, as earlier in the day the PPP’s candidate claimed victory on the seat which prompted the MWM and PTI supporters to take to the streets and staged a sit-in protest against the alleged tampering of the results.

The former federal minister and PPP’s candidate was runner-up with 54,384 votes in the crucial contest.

This seat was also crucial not only for the MWM to enter into mainstream parliamentary politics but also for the PTI since it was not given its election symbol – cricket bat – and the party leadership fielded its candidates as independent, who won a majority of the National Assembly seats – 97 so far followed by PML-N 67 and PPP 52.

Talking to Business Recorder, senior MWM leader Nasir Sherazi said that the “basic principles” have already been agreed upon with the PTI leadership on joining its independent candidates with the MWM and further negotiations are under way within PTI.

“It is now up to the PTI and its founding chairman Imran Khan to decide as they would also require holding further deliberations within the party with regard to taking a final decision about the fate of their independent candidates,” he said.

The independent winning candidates are required by the rules either to join any party or declare their status as “independents” in the National Assembly within three days after they are notified by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

The contest on NA-37 was also interesting to note that people across their sectarian lines voted for the MWM candidate in the otherwise sectarian-volatile Kurram District where rival tribes from different sects frequently attack each other which has claimed dozens of lives just this year.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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