ANP activists express reservations over priority list for reserved seats

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LAHORE: Several Awami National Party (ANP) activists took to social media to express their grievances over the list of priority candidates for reserved seats submitted by the party, reported by a local media outlet.

As per the list, ANP had chosen Shazia Aurangzeb for the top slot followed by Yaseem Zia, Dr Shaheen Zameer and Rabia Sattar.

Old ANP stalwart Bushra Gohar was given the fifth slot while Jameela Gilani was last on the list.

A senior ANP activist said, “We were surprised to see the decision of the parliamentary board as we were expecting Bushra Gohar to be on top followed by Jameela Gilani.”

“No one in the list matches the stature of Gohar and Gilani who have raised their voices for human rights in the country and for the rights of Pashtuns,” added the activist.

He further said, “It is like awarding an ANP ticket to some new and unpopular person from Charsadda rather than ANP Chief Asfandyar Wali Khan.”

Gohar was a member of National Assembly (MNA) while Gilani was a member of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Assembly.

However, priority lists once submitted to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) cannot be altered.

A senior party leader remarked, “When Afrasiab Khattak had sway, he brought Gohar and Gilani into the assemblies because they were like-minded and now, when Haider Khan and Himayatullah Mayar are influential, they are bringing their own faces.”

Gohar Nangyal said, “Merit has been bypassed and the party’s ideological workers are not happy with the decision and only those who are paid employees are defending the decision.”

Former provincial minister Amir Haider Khan Hoti’s group reportedly held sway during the distribution of tickets within the ANP.