After the polling for election on sixteen seats of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly in tribal districts ended on Saturday, the unofficial results started pouring in which showed that the independent candidates are ahead of others in the elections, with the political parties showing mixed trend in seven tribal districts and six Frontier Regions Sunday afternoon.
Ruling PTI stands second according to unverified results. According to latest reports five independents, four PTI candidates and can ANP candidate were unofficially elected. Counting of votes was going on.
With exception to minor skirmish between the rival groups at a polling station the overall polling process ,according to reports from various districts, remained peaceful as no untoward incident was reported from any part of the province and the law enforcing agencies supervised by the Army personnel were in full control of the situation though 564 polling stations with majority in North and South Waziristan tribal districts were declared sensitive. The dwellers of the tribal districts , it may be recalled, went for exercising their right of franchise to elect sixteen members of the provincial assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for the first time in historic elections that promise an era of prosperity and development for the otherwise neglected tribal folk over the last seventy years.
The polling started at 8.am and concluded at 5 in the afternoon without break under strict security measures yet in a congenial environment as a large number of women voters and elderly people were also seen thronging the polling stations to cast their votes perhaps first time in their lives.
Around 1900 polling stations were setup with 482 for men, 376 for women and 1,039 combined to facilitate 2.8 million registered voters of which 1.13 million are women voters. More than 34000 law enforcers were assigned to ensure free , fair and transparent elections and that too in peaceful manner. The army personnel were deployed outside and inside the polling stations and contrary to apprehensions of many political forces, they justified their presence by ensuring the entire polling process in smooth manner.
Among the total 285 contestants eighty-four candidates contested election from the platform of different political parties while two hundred contesting in independent capacity.
Polling was temporarily stopped in PK-105 Khyber’s Landi Kotal after minor skirmish broke out between independent candidate Shafiq Sher and ANP workers outside the Government Girls High School polling station. The police and security forces, however, intervened and the situation was brought under control. According to the provincial election commissioner, results in the tribal districts will be given on WhatsApp due to a network issue in the area.
Advisor to Chief Minister KP on merged districts Ajmal Wazir said the KP government has the clear cut stance that they will welcome whoever wins the election and treat them as if they are their own members.
The chief minister said that bye-election in tribal districts was a great challenge for the provincial government and by the blessings of Allah it has accomplished the task in an amicable manner.
The Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Shah Farman congratulated the tribal people over successful holding of first-ever elections and in a statement, he said that the last phase of FATA merger has been completed. “Now, the new era of progress and development would begin in the merged areas, which will guarantee socio-economic development of the tribal people”.