By Farman Nawaz
Defeating Akram Khan Durani is an old dream of Nasir Khan of PML-N. Even after being defeating several times by JUI on provincial and national seats still Nasir Khan is hopeful to be successful but in the last elections the defeat has made his heart broken.
He was sure last time that the split in JUI will benefit him some way. A day before elections when there was uproar against Durani, all his opponents were threatening to boycott the elections but Nasir Khan did not agree with them and it was evident in his statement to media. He tried his best to propagate against the pre-poll rigging of Durani on media. Even at that time he seemed sure about the success next day.
Nasir Khan did not think that Asif ur Rehman of PTI, a very young politician, will be able to get almost ten thousand votes. Nasir Khan has his personal vote bank while the vote bank of Asif ur Rehman is ideological in nature. In Bannu city it was very strange that instead of Nasir Khan people preferred to vote for Asif of PTI. This ground reality made the mind of Nasir Khan to look outside the PML-N umbrella and decided to use the popularity of PTI to turn his dreams into reality by defeating JUI candidate Azam Khan and to be a part of party that is in power on provincial level.
However Nasir did not come on the front and brought his relative Adnan Khan forward to contest against Azam Khan of JUI. In this whole process of his alliance with PTI he did not come on the front but only paved the way for Adnan Khan. Though there were many expected candidates who wished to get ticket from PTI but Asif and Matiullah were the strong candidates among many.
The reality which obstructed the possibility and chances of Asif and Mattiullah to get Ticket from PTI for by Elections on PK 70, is the strong vote bank of Nasir Khan. If we keep in mind the services of Asif and Mattiullah for PTI in Bannu then it seems injustice that the ticket was awarded to Adnan Khan but it is also a reality that Asif and Mattiullah are not able to defeat JUI. On the other hand Nasir Khan Vote bank is higher than PTI vote bank.
Now there are chances of success of combine efforts of PTI, Nasir Khan and JI against JUI candidate Azam Khan. It must also be kept in mind that this by-election is also very important for Akran Khan Durani too. Once his family is defeated on PK 70 then there are chances of rebel against him in JUI. Though Durani has always won this seat for JUI but it is also a fact that now ‘Khanism’ has a strong control on JUI in Bannu. This aspect of hold of ‘Khanism’ on JUI can turn the tide against him in future. That is why a strong resistance is expected from Durani side.
This time it seems fifty fifty situation on PK 70. No one can guess about the chances of success of any candidate. However there are certain aspects that can help Durani family to win the by-elections. If JUI reaches any successful deal with PML-N on federal level then hopefully Akram khan Durani will get some share out of that deal in shape of ministry. That ministry will help Durani family to get back the support of annoyed ‘Khans’ of Bannu.
Otherwise the government of PTI at provincial level is the strongest point of PTI candidate against Durani family. This time the contest will be very tough and winning candidate will only lead by few dozen votes. Durani has faced a similar situation on PK 73 in the elections of 2008. That is why this time in the lections of 2013 he preferred to contest from PK 70 to avoid such situation. Malik Riaz Khan was given ticket to contest against Pakhtoon Yar Khan of PPPP on PK 73 and Malik Riaz too won by the lead of mere 627 votes.
This time in the by-elections on PK 73 Duranis will face the same situation of marginal difference either to win or loss. The alliance of PTI, Nasir Khan and JI is a new situation for Akran Khan Durani to face in his political career. Defeat means a total catastrophe for Duranis family political career. But the question is why Mollana is not playing his part to convince PML-N to refrain Nasir Khan from joining PTI.