by Zulfiqar Ali Khan
Hunza, October 26: Pakistan People Party launched a vigorous election campaign in Hunza after the arrival of world renowned climber and politician Nazir Sabir from Islamabad to take part in the election campaign for PPP ticket holder Wazir Baig.
Addressing public gatherings in Nasirabad, Gulmit and Sost on Monday and Tuesday different speakers applauded the role of Nazir Sabir and Wazir Baig in the development of Hunza and assured their full support for the coming election.
Mr Nazir stressed on PPP workers to avoid blame-politics and disseminate the philosophy of the party to convince people to vote. “I am really happy that this time more than 8 candidates from Hunza are contesting the election as compared to only two rival candidates in past”, he said. He applauded the self governance package of the federal government for Gilgit Baltistan and said that Wazir Baig is not only the need of Hunza rather the entire Gilgit-Baltistan to materialise the package. He said PPP is a liberal and pro-poor party and always protected the rights of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan from its beginning.
Wazir Baig, candidate for PPP in Hunza thanked the party high-ups for awarding him the party ticket despite he was not present in Islamabad for the meeting. “I will quit the politics if any one proved a single piny of corruption on me and Nazir Sabir”, he said. He also said that he was struggling for the additional seat for Hunza since 1994 and in this regards delimitations were done in his last tenure. He said Hunza will get one each of Technocrat and Women seats, if he won the election. He assured that Hunza will get the seat after the election as the new package has empowered the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly to decide on. He said the construction of Shinaki Bridge with original design will start after the election. He said he will provide funds on priority basis for the water supply scheme of Nasirabad and construct a 10-beds hospital in Shinaki. The process to declare Shinaki a Tehsil will take time and he will put forward the proposal after winning the election, he said.
Addressing the gatherings in Gulmit and Sost Mr Wazir Baig assured a seat for Gojal in the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly. Six candidates including Karim Sher Khan, Ghadir Shah, Hajat Muhammad, Rozdarullah, Doulat Karim and Ghulam Abbas announced their support for Wazir Baig.
Meanwhile, the candidates of all other political parties have also geared up their campaigns through corner meetings. None of the candidates except Wazir Baig however held any open public gatherings in this regards. Political analysts are foreseeing close contest among Wazir Baig of PPP, Kamil Jan of MQM, Noor Muhammad of Hunza Action Committee and Sheryar of PML (N). The other candidates Rehmatullah Baig of PML (Q), Ijlal Hussain of KNM, Shahbaz Khan, Waheed Murad, Aziz Ahmed and Arif Hussain will play their role to divide votes of the main contestants. Analysts are also giving the visits of ministers to Hunza and Benazir Income Support Programme as advantage for the ruling party. Some candidates are also blamed for pouring huge money to attract voters.
It is pertinent to mention here that about 34,055 registered voters including 17,594 male and 16,461 female will vote on November 12 to elect a candidate from Hunza for the assembly.