Sunday Apr 29 2018

Locals, leaders delighted as ECP restores one of two constituencies in Kurram Agency

Photo: File 

PARACHINAR: The restoration of Kurram Agency’s second National Assembly constituency has sent a wave of excitement among leaders of Pakistan Peoples Party and tribal elders.

According to the leaders, elimination of the constituency was an upsetting development for them as well as locals as Kurram Agency had only two constituencies.

Delimitation of constituencies was undertaken by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) across the country following the population census that was carried out in 2017. 

As a consequence, some areas were further divided into more constituencies while the count reduced in others through mergers.

According to Senator Sajid Hussain Turi and MNA Malik Ibrar Jan, ECP had stated that Kurram Agency was short of 11,000 people to be divided among the two constituencies to vote, which is why both were merged.

However, tribal elders and political leaders filed an appeal with ECP stating that people belonging to Kurram Agency were undercounted as internally displaced persons (IDP) from the agency were not taken into account.

They argued that there were over 50,000 IDPs belonging to Kurram Agency, who could vote despite being away from home, therefore their area should not be deprived of a constituency.

Subsequently, ECP announced to restore the eliminated constituency in the agency during a hearing on objections over delimitation.

ECP’s move was lauded by former air marshal Sayed Qaiser Shah, former DIG Syed Irshad Hussain and tribal elders Dr Mujahid Hussain and Syed Iqbal Mian, all of whom struggled to get back the constituency. 

They were of the view that better solution to issues faced by the public would be possible after the restoration of the constituency.   

The commission received 706 objections from Punjab and Islamabad, 284 from Sindh, 104 from Balochistan and 192 from Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The hearing on objections started on April 4 and will continue until the end of the month.