PESHAWAR - The National Assembly (NA) constituency NA-3, Peshawar-111, is another significant seat in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and all major political and religious parties have fielded contenders for the scheduled May 11 elections. However, PPP ex-MNA Noor Alam Khan is the strongest candidate and can win the race again.
As many as 17 candidates, including PML-N Central General Secretary Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, JUI-F’s Ghulam Ali, Jamaat-e-Islami’s Israrullah Advocate, PPP’s Noor Alam Khan and ANP’s Inamullah Khan, are contesting from this seat. After quitting ANP and formally joining PTI, Hashim Babar will contest as an independent candidate from NA-3 as PTI did not award him a ticket. All the political and religious parties have their existence in NA-3. Had there been an electoral alliance between JUI-F and JI, or JI and PTI or JI and PML-N, the situation would have really been different. However, in the prevailing atmosphere, PPP is stated to be in a better position in NA-3, Peshawar.
Noor Alam Khan, who was the richest lawmaker in the last Parliament, won the NA-3 seat on PPP ticket in the 2008 election. Since 2008 elections, PPP has strengthened its position in NA-3, Peshawar-111.
Being a landlord, Noor Alam Khan, is considered as the strongest candidate. NA-3, Peshawar, mainly comprises rural areas where availability of an elected representative is given much weight than that of any developmental project.
The constituency consists of rural areas like Gul Bela, Chagarmati, Ghari Mohmand, Charsadda Road, Warsak Road, Muhammad Zai, Khalisa, Dalazak Road, Kandar, Naguman areas, Mathra, Tarnab, Chamkani, Phandu, Urmer and Regi.
Political observers say Noor Alam Khan has an edge over his rivals because he is easily available in his constituency, got huge funds from the federal government and spent the same on various developmental projects, including drinking water, electricity, roads and others.
Besides, he has also provided jobs to hundreds of people of his constituency in the last PPP government. In 2008 general elections, PPP candidate Noor Alam Khan won the seat by securing 27,038 while runner up Hashim Babar of ANP secured 26,201 votes.
In 2002, the seat went to Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal whose candidate Qari Fayyazur Rehman Alvi defeated PPP's Kiramat Ullah Khan, his nearest rival, with a margin of almost 19,000 votes.
Political observers say Noor Alam Khan is going well. JUI-F’s nominee Senator Ghulam Ali may be the nearest vote taker among the other aspirants as PML-N Central General Secretary Zafar Iqbal Jagrah, PTI’s Sajid Nawaz, ANP’s Inamullah Khan and JI’s Israrullah are also trying their luck from this constituency.
In the past, JUI-F’s Ghulam Ali has been the Peshawar district nazim while his party ruled the province for about five years under the banner of MMA and this factor will certainly give him advantage to some extent. Moreover, Ghulam Ali, who is currently member of the Upper House, has regularly been campaigning since long and actively taking part in the election drive. Apart from it, JUI-F has a good vote bank in the constituency.
PML-N candidate Zafar Iqbal Jagrah is another strong candidate. Certainly, his party has some vote bank in the constituency. Jagrah is tirelessly campaigning and is hopeful of victory. The presence of PTI nominee Sajid Nawaz, a first timer, cannot be ignored as, according to various surveys carried out by different international organisations, popularity of PTI is increasing day by day in the province.
ANP’s Inamullah Khan, is, too, actively participating in electioneering. But he is facing security threats like other candidates of his party in the province. He is, however, energetically doing door-to-door campaign. JI candidate Israrullah advocate has also been a town naib nazim and his party has roots in this constituency. Political observers say that if there had been an electoral alliance, the PPP candidate would have faced some problem, but in the existing situation, Noo Alam Khan is considered to be the winner.