Chitral, Tank districts have one seat each in both NA, KP Assembly

Published on: 15/07/2018 | Comments: No comments 

PESHAWAR: There are two districts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) where the number of votes for the National Assembly and provincial assembly seats is the same.

Chitral, the northern-most district of Pakistan and Tank, the southern-most district in the province, have one seat each in the National Assembly and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly. This makes the two districts unique as candidates for both the national and provincial legislatures have to campaign in the whole district and seek the votes of the same number of voters to win a seat.

Until the 2013 general election, Chitral had one National Assembly and two provincial assembly seats. But the 2017 population census and delimitation of constituencies resulted in the loss of one provincial assembly seat to Chitral. It now has one National Assembly seat, NA-1, and a single Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly constituency, PK-1.

Chitral, mountainous and scenic, may be termed unlucky for losing one provincial assembly seat even though it is the largest district area-wise in KP covering an area of 14,850 square kilometres. Chitral is so large that it shares border with three provinces of Afghanistan ? Kunar, Nuristan and Badakhshan ? and is separated from Tajikistan by the narrow strip of Wakhan Corridor. It also borders Gilgit-Baltistan and Swat and Upper Dir districts in KP.

Chitral?s politicians and social activists briefly protested the loss of one of their provincial assembly seats, but the remoteness of their district and weakness of their call didn?t get any positive response in the corridors of power in Islamabad.

However, Chitral can claim that its two seats are now at the first spot in the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) roll-call. Its National Assembly seat is NA-1, a title that was for years the domain of Peshawar. In fact, ANP leader Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, who won six of the eight elections that he contested from the previous NA-1 Peshawar seat, was so upset about it that he approached the court to have the ECP decision overturned. His petition was dismissed and Chitral got the NA-1 seat instead of Peshawar. Likewise, the first provincial assembly seat in the province, KP-1, has also gone to Chitral.

According to the 2017 census, Chitral has a population of 447,362 while the number of voters is 269,579. The same number of voters in Chitral would elect their only MNA and the lone MPA.

Tank, a small district bordering South Waziristan, Dera Ismail Khan and Lakki Marwat, has a total of 180,872 voters. These voters would elect one MNA as well as MPA. The candidates for the National Assembly and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly would have to reach and woo an equal number of voters in all of Tank to win a seat.

In the past elections, Tank was lumped together with the adjoining Dera Ismail Khan district to form one National Assembly constituency.

For the July 2018 polls, Tank has been given one National Assembly seat of its own. The parts of Dera Ismail Khan that were earlier attached to Tank in one National Assembly constituency have now been detached as the district has been given two seats in the national legislature.

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Powerhouse tank in Chitral fails to withstand water pressure

Published on: 01/01/2018 | Comments: 1 comment 

The water tank of the power project in Garam Chashma, Chitral, which collapsed during testing phase.

The water tank of the power project in Garam Chashma, Chitral, which collapsed during testing phase.

?CHITRAL; The forebay tank of micro hydro powerhouse in Borbono village of Garam Chashma valley crumbled to the ground like ?house of cards? as it failed to withstand the pressure of water, which was diverted to pass through it during the testing process here on Sunday.

Khosh Mohammad Khan, a member of tehsil council from Lot Koh, told Dawn that the powerhouse was recently completed by Aga Khan Rural Support Programme with the financial assistance of Pakhtunkhwa Energy Development Organisation (Pedo) at a cost of Rs5.66 million. Its inauguration was scheduled for next week.

He said that as elected representative of the area, he had time and again pinpointed the substandard construction of the powerhouse and brought it into the notice of the director of project but to no avail.

Tehsil councillor asks govt to take contractor to task

Mr Khan said that earlier, the power channel of the project had also failed the test of water and was washed away by water that testified use of substandard material in the structures of both the power channel and the tank.

He said that the collapse of the reinforced concrete cement (RCC) structure due to the pressure of water revealed use of substandard material and faulty execution of the design for which the government should take the contractor to task.

Mr Khan, a member of the ruling PTI, was critical of the provincial government for its failure to implement the Pedo projects in Chitral.

He said that in his constituency, two more power projects of Pedo ? one in Munoor and another in Parabek ? were destined to fail.

Mr Khan said that as per contract, the power projects had already been delayed by more than two years. The local people would have to wait for another year to get electricity as work could be continued in the area in winter.

PRESS CLUB:?Zahiruddin was elected president of Chitral Press Club for the third consecutive term here on Sunday.

Other office-bearers include senior vice president Saifur Rahman Aziz, vice president Mian Asif Ali Shah, general secretary Abdul Ghafar, finance secretary Noor Afzal Khan and office secretary Nazir A Shah.

Published in Dawn, January 1st, 2018