Fresh blood likely to give hard time to MMA’s Fazl in polls


DI KHAN: Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) President and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Fazlur Rehman will face a tough challenge in Dera Ismail Khan’s (DI Khan) NA-38 and NA-39 constituencies against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) young leader Ali Amin Gandapur and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Faisal Khan Kundi, while former Senator Waqar Ahmed Khan is also in the run.

A major contest for two National Assembly (NA) and five Peshawar Assembly seats from DI Khan is expected during the upcoming general elections among Fazlur Rehman, Faisal Karim Kundi, Ali Amin Gandapur and Waqar Ahmed Khan.

The papers of as many as 120 candidates from various political parties and independents have so far been accepted for NA-38 and NA-39, and five provincial seats from the district, the provincial election commissioner informed.

Born in 1953, Fazl is the son of Mufti Mahmud, the man who won an election against PPP leader Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in 1970 from DI Khan.

Fazl used his reputation as a religious leader to get himself elected several times to the National Assembly from DI Khan between 1988 to 2018. He remained leader of the opposition in NA from 2004 to 2007. In 2008, Fazl lost the NA seat while contesting on MMA ticket from NA-24 DI Khan.

PPP leader Faisal Karim Kundi, who had served as deputy speaker of National Assembly from 2008 to 2013, was elected to NA in 2008 general polls.

He ran for the seat from NA-24 DI Khan as an independent candidate in 2013 but remained unsuccessful.

PTI’s Ali Amin Gandapur, who was a member of the 10th Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, was contesting for NA seat for the first time in 2018 against strong candidates pitched by PPP and MMA.

Senator Waqar Ahmed Khan was mulling contesting the general elections from NA-38 and 39 DI Khan in the upcoming general elections as an independent candidate.

A total of 43 candidates have submitted their nomination papers for NA-38 and NA-39. Nomination papers of one Akram Rasti were rejected, while the rest were accepted.