DERA GHAZI KHAN - Once again, the tribal women here would not be allowed to exercise their right to vote as the district election commission has not deployed female staff at polling stations for 37,489 women voters.

For the first time in the history of Dera Ghazi Khan’s tribal areas, the tribal elders are requesting for votes during their door-to-door election campaign at union council level for their respective candidates. However, polling agents of male candidates, with the support of ruling tribal elders and personnel of Border Military Police will cast more than 80 percent bogus votes of women as they are not allowed to cast votes in the presence of male polling staff. Former Punjab governor Zulfiqar Ali Khosa along with his sons, Dost Muhammad Khosa and Hassam Khan Khosa, twice visited Toman Khosa Union Council to woo the voters for their candidates, Rab Nawaz Khosa and Bakhtiar Khosa. Meanwhile, the elder son of Zulfiqar, Sardar Saifuddiin Khosa, is opposing his father and two brothers and supporting Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in LG polls.

Tribal groups, especially Khosas, are facing a tough time from the candidates backed by the ruling party. The political assistant (commandant of the Border Military Police) has a vital role in polls in the tribal area. This time, he is also performing the duty of returning officer. So election results of every union council of tribal areas will depend on the performance and honesty of Border Military Police personnel. In the last elections, every BMP commandant tried to support the ruling tribal chief a commandant, a BSP-17 officer, has extraordinary powers as well as many ways of illegal earning. Almost all the tribal elders, including Mir Badshah Qaisrani, Fateh Muhammad Khan Buzdar, Sardar Amjad Farooq Khosa, Jamal Khan Leghari, Sardar Saifuddin Khosa and Sardar Zulfiqar Ali Khosa, are steering campaign at union council level in favour of their candidates most of whom are their relatives.

On the other hand, the district election commissioner has claimed all the arrangements have been finalised for the elections in nine union councils of DG Khan tribal area. There are 87,863 registered voters, including 37,489 females, in the tribal area. More than 200 candidates are in the race.