JUI-F tastes defeat in its stronghold

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The Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) suffered a great setback on Thursday when its candidate failed to retain the National Assembly seat vacated by chief Fazlur Rehman in his native Dera Ismail Khan cum Tank districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s candidate Dawar Kundi defeated Fazl’s son Asad Mehmood by 7,692 votes.

According to unofficial results, Kundi received 73,755 votes while Mehmood bagged 66,063 votes.

In recent months, particularly since the May 11 general elections, this is the third blow the JUI-F has suffered.

Before the general polls, Fazl was dreaming of governing Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as well as gaining a lion’s share in the federal and Balochistan governments. However, his party failed in getting the required seats.

The JUI-F suffered a second blow when it lost one National Assembly seat in Swabi and the other in Lakki Marwat in the by-elections.

Though the Peshawar High Court suspended the result for Lakki Marwat’s NA-27, unofficial results go in favour of PTI’s candidate Amirullah Khan.

Like in Tank, the NA seat in Lakki Marwat was also vacated by Fazl.

In May 11 general elections, JUI-F candidate Ataul Haq Darwaish lost to PTI’s Asad Qaisar. Qaisar was elected to the provincial assembly and he vacated the National Assembly seat for his younger brother Saqibullah Khan. On these grounds, the Awami National Party had backed Darwaish in the by-elections.

The newly-elected MNA from Tank, Kundi is son of late Amanullah Kundi who was a district council chairman and provincial minister.

The Election Commission of Pakistan has yet to decide the fate of the National Assembly seats in Nowshehra and Lakki Marwat.

With winning the two National Assembly seats, the PTI has strengthened its position in the National Assembly and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly.

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