ISLAMABAD    -   People of the newly merged tribal districts will remember the July 20 as a remarkable day for them, as they went to the elections voted for the first time to elect their representatives for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly.In what appears to be a good news, polling at the generally volatile newly formed tribal districts remained largely peaceful and no major event of violence was reported from the region during the election day.There were some confusion and worries about the first ever historic provincial elections in the erstwhile FATA and many candidates as well as common masses were having some reservations about the elections but at the end many locals and analysts have termed these elections as historical and peaceful.It was a significant electoral exercise even though it was held in a remote corner of Pakistan where the region is very harsh and the security situation is still being largely handled by the military.Surely, the credit of ensuring a lasting peace and initiation of democratic process in the region goes to the priceless sacrifices of Pakistan army and other security agencies, who successfully combated the militancy and terrorism there.Despite the security issues, the people came out of their homes and used their right to vote with great enthusiasm and keen interest and this move was greatly welcomed by people from different walks of life.Some political parties had demanded that the elections on national assembly and KP assembly seats from the erstwhile Fata should have been together on July 25, however, this demand was not entertained by the relevant authorities on multiple reasons.

But as the delimitation process was completed in March this year and July 2 was announced as the polling day. However, due to security issues, the KP government requested the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to postpone the elections till July 20. The Election Commission accepted the request, and delayed the elections by 18 days.

The delay in the elections was criticized and opposed by many political parties

and had termed it as pre-poll rigging.Despite security concerns, the election campaign was remarkably peaceful and the most importantly a woman candidate Naheed Afridi organized her campaign with great courage. Many political leaders have termed it as a positive sign for women participation in the mainstream politics.

Talking to The Nation, ANP woman candidate for PK-106 Naheed Afridi said that the overall turnout was very low but what the people should be happy on was the way this whole process took place.She added that despite many security issues and many other reservations they were happy for this very peaceful election.According to sources, the overall turnout in Bajaur, Mohmand and Khyber regions was high as compared to that in other tribal areas.

Talking to The Nation, Nizammudin, a PML-N candidate in Bajaur, said that they had many reservations and submitted a complaint in ECP in this regard, but the election day was very peaceful and no such issue had occurred inside or outside the polling stations.DC Bajaur also expressed its satisfaction over the elections and called it as a big achievement for the tribal people.While talking to The Nation, former ANP senator Afrasiab Khattak said that there were some serious reservations of different political parties regarding the elections like; the crackdown on political workers before the elections and the deployment of army inside the polling stations etc, but at the end it was very important to integrate the tribal people in the mainstream politics. He further said that they were always in favour of KP-FATA merger because it was the only way to let the tribal people have their political,social and economical rights.