PESHAWAR - Election campaign has gained momentum in provincial metropolis of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where tough contest is expected on four National Assembly seats among political heavyweights of different political parties in general elections 2013.

The top contenders for the NA-1 include Haji Ghulam Bilour of Awami National Party, Shabir Ahmad Khan of Jamaat-e-Islami, Imran Khan of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Mohammad Afzal Khan of Pakistan Muslim League (N), Iqbal Mohmand of Pakistan People’s Party and among the expected candidates of JUI Haji Shah Nawaz, Maulana Abdur Raof Jan and Mulvi Hussain Ahmad Madani are the prominent candidates in which one would be selected.

Likewise, for the NA-02, the top contenders include Arbab Najeebullah of Awami National Party, Arbab Alamgir of Pakistan People’s Party, Dr Muhammad Iqbal Khalil of Jamaat-e-Islami, Abdul Bari Khattak of Pakistan Muslim League (N) and Khalid Maswood of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf while JUI-F would yet finalise the name candidates for this constituency. 

Provincial Information Secretary of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F) Abdul Jalil Jan said that JUI-F has so far not finalised all of their candidates for each constituency, however, they short-listed their candidates for all the four constituencies of the National Assembly. He said that name of Mulvi Saeed Jan and Mulvi Rafiullah are prominent for the NA-2.

For the NA-3, former wining candidate of Pakistan People’s Party Noor Alam Khan, Israrullah advocate of Jamaat-e-Islami, Arbab Inamullah Khan of Awami National Party, Haji Ghulam Ali of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam and Iqbal Zafar Jaghra of Pakistan Muslim League (N)

For NA-4 the top contenders include former Provincial Minister for Agriculture Arbab Ayub Jan of Awami National Party, Sabir Hussain Awan of Jamaat-e-Islami, Nasir Mussazai of Pakistan Muslim Nawaz and Maulana Abdul Malik of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam. 

Both Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf and Pakistan People Party would yet confirm the names of their candidate on this constituency.

In previous elections of February 2008, PPP secured majority on the NA-2 and NA-3 while Awami National Party won NA-1 and NA-4. Due to the boycott of Jamaat-e-islami and PTI in previous elections both PPP and ANP swiftly, elected their candidates, however this time Jamaat-e-Islami would also gave tough time to its archrival Awami National Party on various constituencies.

PTI chairman Imran Khan has also decided to play against Haji Ghulam Bilour, ANP strong candidate from NA-1, however it would be difficult for Khan to defeat Haji Ghulam Bilour lonely as Haji has wide popularity in this constituency.

Haji Ghulam Bilour would also cash the sympathies of the people as his one brother and former Senior Minister Bashir Ahmad Bilour has been martyred in a suicide attack.

On NA-2 Arbab Najeebullah of Awami National Party and Arbab Alamgir of Pakistan People’s Party would try to surpass each other however prominent social worker and former chairman of Alkhidmat foundation, Dr Mohammad Iqbal Khalil of Jamaat-e-Islami is not behind in this race as in 2002 general elections the seat was won by late Rahmatullah Khalil from the platform of MMA.

On the NA-3, PPP candidate Noor Alam Khan will face, Haji Ghulam Ali of Jamiat Ulam-e-Islam (F), who has also prominent position in this constituency and have done a lot of homework for contesting elections. Jamaat-e-islami has fielded a new candidate Israrullah advocate who is also information secretary of Jamaat-e-Islami while Awami National Party has fielded Arbab Inamullah on this constituency. Central general secretary of Pakistan Muslim League (N) Iqbal Zafar Jaghra will also try his luck on this constituency.

On NA-4 Awami National Party Arbab Ayub Jan will face Sabir Hussain Awan of Jamaat-e-Islami, and Arbab Kamal of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F) Nasir Musazi of Pakistan Muslim League (N) will also contest as a new contender of his party from this constituency of National Assembly.

According to political pundits if JUI-F, Jamaat-e-Islami and PTI had agreed on seat adjustment on various constituencies of National Assembly then there were bright chances for Jamaat-e-Islami and JUI to win maximum seats in Provincial capital.

However due to the absence of electoral alliance among religious political parties and emerging of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf as a new political force, no one could assess correctly that which party will secure maximum seats in Peshawar as the former wining candidates of PPP and ANP has also took full advantage of Jamaat-e-Islami boycott in previous elections.