Photo Asghar Khan
by Zulfiqar Ali Khan
As the post election political scenario in Islamabad is becoming clear, it seems that it will also cause political turmoil in Northern Areas. According to news reports, members of PML (Q) in Northern Areas Legislative Council (NALC) have already started contacting the local and central leadership of PPPP and PML (N). These members of present ruling party in Northern Areas were having affiliations with PPPP and PML (N) before the engineering of PML (Q) during last election. This new development will ultimately lead to changes of loyalties from majority of the members of PML (Q).
The warm and personal relationship of Deputy Chief Executive, Mir Ghazanfar Ali Khan with Nawaz Sharif before his dismissal from government is not hidden from anyone. According to a local newspaper, Mir Ghazanfar Ali Khan had a long meeting with Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Abbasi, of PML (N) in Abbotabad. However, in an interview he said that the members of PML (Q) will remain united in Northern Areas and no one will change his political loyalties. He also praised the Government of PML (Q) for the exemplary development projects completed during last tenure. The President of PML (N) in Northern Areas Hafiz-u-Rehman has also confirmed the contact of Mirza Hussain, Advisor Finance, Planning and border trade in order to join PML (N). However, he said that the central leadership will decide on this issue after consulting the local leadership.
Similarily, Haji Abdul Qudoos, Advisor Health, Abdul Hammed, Advisor Tourism, Asad Zaidi, Deputy Speaker, Fida Muhammad Nashad, former Deputy Chief executive, Imran Nadeem, former Advisor Health and Tourism, Wazir Willayat, and Ghulam Nabi are also using back channels to join PPPP. The General Secretary PPPP, Syded Mahdi Shah has said that there is no place for Lotas in PPPP and the central committee makes decisions after consulting the local level leaderships.
This scenario clearly indicates a new ‘lotacracy’ in Northern Areas which could decree the end of present NALA setup. The new political situation is also creating uncertainties for the implementation of the presidential packages of President Musharaf to the Northern Areas. Both the winning parties are having provincial autonomy as a top priority. Therefore, people of Northern Areas are also expecting any meaningful steps to address the wider issues of constitutional neglect and political disempowerment in the Northern Areas