Elections in FATA: A Special Report (updated June 6, 2013)
Elections in FATASpecial Report, June 2013
2013 Elections in FATA, Special Report 1 | P a g e2013 Elections in FATASaturday May 11, 2013 was a momentous day in the history of FATA. For the first time peoplecame out in large numbers to cast their votes for their respective political parties andindependent candidates. People enthusiastically took part in the elections of 2013 and votedfor 12 members for the National Assembly of Pakistan. Under the constitution, FATA is allowedonly 12 seats in the National Assembly and none in the Provincial Assembly. There are also noreserved seats for women and given strict tribal customs, this basically ensures that no canobtain a seat in the National Assembly of Pakistan.The extension to FATA of the Political Parties Order (PPO) 2002 galvanized political activities inthe militancy-hit area, which comprises seven tribal agencies and six frontier regions.2013 Election Results in FATAConstituency Winning Candidate Party VotesRegisteredVotersVotesPolledVoterTurnout*NA – 36 Bilal Rehman Ind** 9,005 179,304 53,648 30%NA – 37 Syed Sajid Hussain Ind 30,524 162,660 94,489 58%NA – 38 Not yet announcedNA – 39 Dr. Syed Ghazi Gulab Jamal Ind 7,922 125,687 47,824 38%NA – 40 Muhammad Nazir Khan Ind 18,055 160,666 77,955 49%NA – 41*** Ghalib Khan PML-N 8,022 92,000 N/A N/ANA – 42 Moulana Muhammad Jamal ud Din JUI-F 3,468 108,056 12,502 12%NA – 43 Bismallah Khan Ind 13,929 168,514 44,050 26%NA – 44 Shahab ud Din Pusht PML-N 15,114 185,040 60,008 32%NA – 45 Alhaj Shah Jee Gul Afridi Ind 29,697 175,036 69,874 40%NA – 46 Not yet announcedNA – 47 Qaisar Jamal PTI 9,856 121,265 48,215 40%FATA Total Voter Participation: 37%* Percent of registered voters participating on election day** Independent candidate*** Result announced after compilation of reportIn NA-36 Mohmand Agency, Mr. Bilal Rehman—independent candidate and a former Memberof the National Assembly (MNA)—won amidst allegations of rigging by his rival candidates. Mr.Nisar Mohmand (President of Awami National Party in Mohmand Agency, but contesting as anindependent candidate in NA-36) said to the media that elections in his constituency wererigged and the results were unacceptable.NA-37 Kurram Agency was won by Mr. Sajid Hussain Tori, an independent candidate and aformer Member of Parliament. The security situation was not favorable in Kurram Agency.Regardless, the people came out to cast their vote. Owing to security concerns, Parachinar Citywas completely sealed off with an additional deployment of militia forces backed by security
2013 Elections in FATA, Special Report 2 | P a g epersonnel to protect the lives and property of the people. The religious committee of Ahli Tashifavored Sajid Hussain Tori while Qaisar Hussain, a retired Air force officer, encouraged womento stage a sit in for one month to protest the result. After several days, the women dispersedand the situation returned to normal.Similarly, elders of NA-38 Kurram Agency, requested that the Election Commission of Pakistan(ECP) postpone elections for two months due to the rapidly deteriorating and volatile law andorder situation. Two days before the elections, militants attacked Pakistani troops, killing threesoldiers. In response, security forces launched a fresh operation against them. In the same area,a suicide bomber blew himself up during an election rally held by Munir Orakzai (candidate ofJamiat Ulama-e-Islam F, JUI-F) killing 23 people and seriously injuring 80. Citizens of NA-38 ParaChamkani came to Peshawar and other safer areas of the country as IDPs where there were nopolling stations for them.In NA-39 Orakzai Agency, former Federal Minister Dr. Gulab Jamal was declared the winningcandidate. It is worth noting that there were 36 candidates contesting the seat in OrakzaiAgency. His rival candidate—a former parliamentarian—Mr. Jawad Hussain rejected the resultsand demanded re-polling in the constituency. Hussain was a candidate of the Pakistan People’sParty (PPP).In NA-40 North Waziristan, independent candidate Mr. Muhammad Nazir won the election.Nazir allegedly inked an agreement with Mr. Qismat Khan to allot him a seat in the Senateshould he win the National Assembly election. All other candidates from North Waziristan havenow gone before the Peshawar High Court to register their grievances against Mr. Nazir.In NA-41 South Waziristan, the security situation remained tense throughout the electionperiod. In a Taliban shura (council) headed by Commander Salahuddin Ayubi (successor ofMaulvi Mohammad Nazir, who was killed in a US drone strike), it was declared that if anyonetried to disrupt the polling process at any polling station in NA-41, that the culprit would befined one million rupees cash and that their house would be set on fire. However, one daybefore the elections, unknown assailants fired five rockets on an election rally held by Mr.Naseer Ahmed and five people were killed in the attack.The contest between Mr. Ali Wazir and Mr. Ghalib Wazir was also bitter. The media firstdeclared Mr. Ali Wazir, Agency Reforms Council coordinator for the Shaheed Bhutto Foundation(SBF) in South Waziristan as the winning candidate. Later, , the result was withheld forunknown reasons. Elections at the remaining polling stations were held and Ali Wazir was againin the lead. Later, however, Mr. Ghalib Wazir of PML-N was declared the winner. Ali Wazir,along with his supporters, has rejected the results and have taken their case to the electiontribunal.
2013 Elections in FATA, Special Report 3 | P a g eIn NA-42 South Waziristan, Maulana Jamal ud Din Mehsud (JUI-F) was declared the winner.This constituency had previously been vacant for five years, as most of the residents weredisplaced due to the volatile security situation in the region. Voter turnout in NA-42 was around12 percent. Many Mehsud voters were residing in DI Khan while their polling stations were setup in Tank and vice versa, thereby preventing many IDPs from voting. Mehsud’s electoralopponents have also taken their grievances to the election tribunal.NA-43 and NA-44 are constituencies in Bajaur Agency. Haji Bismillah Khan--an elderlyparliamentarian and father of sitting KP Governor Engineer Shaukatullah Khan--won theelection in NA-43. With a dismal turnout of 26 percent, Bismillah Khan won by securing 13,872votes. His arch rival Mr. Sahibzada Haroon Rashid (former JI parliamentarian rejected theresults alleging that Khan rigged polls and manipulated the results. It is worth mentioning thatboth the governor’s brother Shaukatullah Khan and his father have both won elections in thisconstituency.In NA-44, Mr. Shahabuddin Khan Pashat won the National Assembly seat. A PML-N nominee,Pashat had also been victorious previously in by-elections. At that time he was with the ANPand later joined PML (Quaid e Azam) along with Engineer Ameer Muqam. At one time he wasalso the provincial president of the National Awami Party (NAP) of Mr. Ajmal Khattak. Pashat isan active member of the SBF-led FATA Agency Reforms Council in Bajaur and often raised theissue of reforms in his campaign activities. Candidates who failed to win in NA-44 have rejectedhis success and alleged that he rigged the polls.In NA-45 Khyber Agency, a well-known transporter, Mr. Shahjee Gul Afridi won and defeatedthe twice-elected former MNA Mr. Noorul Haq Qadri. Many claim that Shahjee Gul used moneyto win votes and violated the ECP code of conduct.In NA-46 Khyber Agency, political parties and independent candidates accused each other ofrigging, snatched ballot boxes and destroyed ballot papers, resulting in violence and casualties.As a result, the ECP has declared re-polling at 21 polling stations in Bara. After the suspension ofvoting, candidates have asked for the deployment of Army troops inside polling stations toensure the transparency of voting and the subsequent ballot counting.Polling stations set up for IDPs from Bara subdivisions were poorly located and very far awayfrom where voters live. A large number of people gathered at Shahkas Levy Center while manywent to Jalozai Camp. Many people did not know where they should go to cast their vote. AtDurrani Camp in Kurram Agency, people had access to polling stations but due to security andtransportation problems, many of them unable to cast their votes. Re-polling for the 21 NA-46
2013 Elections in FATA, Special Report 4 | P a g epolling stations was held on June 5. Polling stations were located in places where voters haddifficulty accessing them. The Army was deployed where elections were being held.In NA-47 Frontier Regions the contest was a close one. Qaisar Jamal Afridi of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was declared the winning candidate by the ECP. His rival Mufti Abdul ShakoorBetani (JUI-F) from FR Lakki rejected the election results and demanded a new election.Another candidate, Engineer Shahi Khan Sheraniof the ANP, also stated that the elections wererigged in NA-47. Following his victory, MNA Qaisar Jamal was visited at his residence bymembers of the Frontier Regions Reforms Council and Shaheed Bhutto Foundation staffmembers and is enthusiastic about the reforms agenda for FATA. He promised to work forreforms implementation in FATA.Women and Elections in FATABajaur AgencyBajaur Agency was the most peaceful agency as far as polling is concerned. No mishaps werereported and a large number of women turned out to cast their votes. Large contingents oflevies and security force officials were also deployed at sensitive polling stations to thwart anyuntoward incident. Badam Zari made history as a woman contesting elections here against 25male candidates, many amongst them powerful chieftains from Bajaur Agency. Although shereceived fewer than 200 votes, her courage is appreciated by many in FATA. She stood stronglike a rock and challenged male-dominated tribal society.Khyber AgencyAccording to women in Khyber Agency, their turnout was very high. JI and PTI were successfullyable to mobilize women. In particular, JI arranged Dars sessions for women in Jamrud andLandikotal and motivated them to vote. Most women, however, voted for PTI rather than JI.Women complained that the staff at polling stations was not trained or efficient. Also, manywomen--despite coming out of their houses and waiting for hours--were not able to cast theirvotes due to poor arrangements. The political administration did not expect such a largenumber of women voters and therefore arranged too few polling stations. Voting proceededpeacefully except for a few isolated incidences of small arms fire that were quickly dealt with bysecurity forces.Mohmand AgencyIn Mohmand Agency, women’s participation was unexpectedly high. Women were satisfiedwith the arrangements of the ECP and there were a large number of polling stations for women
2013 Elections in FATA, Special Report 5 | P a g eat very accessible locations. Nearly all candidates tried to mobilize women voters, and as aresult hundreds of women voted in Mohmand. No incidents of violence occurred except inBahai Dag where a local peace committee member was killed when shots were fired in the air,prompting levies personnel to return fire. Four people along with a levie official were arrestedin connection with the incident. Voting, however, did not stop despite the incident.Frontier RegionsIn FR Bannu, reports were received that more than 2,000 women’s ballots were stolen. In FRPeshawar, a Shaheed Bhutto Foundation FATA Reforms Council coordinator reported that atGovernment High School Sra Dargai (a combined polling station) only one woman had cast avote as of 2:00 pm. In the FRs, not many women cast votes due to security threats.Kurram AgencyIn Upper Kurram (NA-37), women actively participated in the elections, which proceededpeacefully amidst strict security measures. Even after elections, women have been involved inprotests against rigging and the use of violence in certain areas. Security forces and Kurramlevies personnel were deployed in sensitive parts of the agency to foil any potential threats. InNA-38 Sadda, the headquarters of Lower Kurram, elections were postponed by the ElectionCommission of Pakistan (ECP) due to the ongoing military operation.North Waziristan AgencyWomen were universally deprived of their right to adult franchise in North Waziristan, LakkiMarwat and Lower Dir as it was deemed un-Islamic by extremists. Media sources reported thatin Miranshah tribesmen were informed through mosque loudspeakers early Saturday that nowoman would be allowed to leave her home and cast vote. Earlier on Wednesday, pamphletswere also distributed in different areas of North Waziristan warning tribesmen not to allowwomen to vote, threatening punishment for those who did so.South Waziristan AgencyThe Taliban shura (council), headed by Commander Salahuddin Ayubi, allowed women votersfrom South Waziristan Agency area to exercise their franchise provided that proper purdah(covering) arrangements were made at the polling stations.###