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16 withdraw papers as parties finalise candidates in KP

PESHAWAR: A number of candidates withdrew nomination papers on Thursday as the political parties finalised their contenders for the Senate elections from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

According to an official of the Election Commission of Pakistan, 16 candidates withdrew their nomination papers. There are now 25 candidates in the run from KP, including 11 for general seats, five each for the seats reserved for women and technocrats. Four contestants are flexing muscles for seats reserved for religious minorities.

Those who withdrew their papers for the general seats included former PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar, Dost Mohammad Mehsud who will now contest for the technocrat seat, PTI loyalist Najiullah Khattak, Nasrullah Wazir who is father of PTI MPA from South Waziristan, Naseerullah Wazir, Mohammad Rizwan, former MNA Hamidul Haq, Shakeel Afridi and Meena Khan Afridi. Most of them are from PTI and were hoping to get the party ticket to contest for the Senate seats.

The official added that Farzana Javed, Shazia Tehmas, Musarrat Jabeen and Farah Khan withdrew from the contest for seats reserved for women. Besides, Hamidul Haq, Dilroz Khan and Barrister Mohammad Ali Saif withdrew their nomination papers for technocrat seats. Araish Kumar withdrew papers for the seat reserved for minorities.

The ruling PTI on Thursday finalised the names of its Senate candidates from KP.

As per the list, Federal Information Minister Shibli Faraz, former Senator Liaqat Tarakai who is father of provincial education minister Shahram Khan Tarakai, former Senator and industrialist-turned-politician Mohsin Aziz, Mardan industrialist Faisal Saleem and Zeeshan Khanzada, a former member of the Senate and son of ex-PPP lawmaker Khanzada Khan, are the candidates of the ruling party for general seats. Sania Nishtar, the special assistant to the prime minister on poverty alleviation and social safety and also BISP chairperson, and Falak Naz, who hails from Chitral, are contenders for seats reserved for women.

PTI will also support Taj Mohammad Afridi of Balochistan Awami Party BAP) in the general seat. The BAP is an ally of the PTI and has four MPAs in KP who joined the party after winning election as independents. The BAP, which is a Balochistan-based party, doesn’t have any organisational structure in KP.

For the seats reserved for technocrats, the PTI finalised names of Dost Mohammad Mehsud and Dr Humayun Mohmand, both veteran PTI members. Gurdeep Singh, the brother-in-law of slain PTI lawmaker Sardar Soran Singh, was nominated for the seat reserved for minorities.

The elections are to be held as per schedule on March 3.

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