MARDAN - PTI and ANP are in a tough race for the post of Mardan district nazim, which had been vacated by the then nazim of ANP, Himaytaullah Mayar for contesting a seat of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, who fought and lost to the PTI candidate in July 25 polls.

After the local government elections, ANP, PPP, JUI-F and Imran Shaheed Group had entered into an alliance to block the way of PTI from forming government in Mardan district and Takhtbhai, Katlang and Mardan tehsils.

According to the agreement, the district nazim office was given to ANP and district naib nazim was allotted to PPP. The Takhtbhai tehsil nazim slot was allotted to Imran Shaheed Group and Katlang tehsil to JUI-F. It was stated in the agreement that after two years, they will resign from the offices concerned and candidates of other allied parties would be elected.

However, later on when the mentioned time period came to an end, the JUI-F leaders accused ANP leaders that they had allegedly violated the agreement. They said that it had been mentioned in the agreement that for the first two years, ANP candidate would be elected as district nazim and later the district nazim along with other allied party’s tehsil nazim will resign and candidate from another ally party will be elected to the said offices.

Under the agreement, JUI-F candidate would be elected district nazim for the second stint. They said that the ANP district nazim had to resign on August 27, 2017. At that time, they accused that Himayatullah Mayar was not willing to resign. They said that their party nazims of Katlang and Takhtbhai had resigned as per the agreement. Later, JUI-F quit the alliance in the district and sat on the opposition benches in the district assembly. 

However, Himayatullah Mayar rejected the allegations and said that JUI-F, from the beginning, had violated the agreement. He added that after the completion of the mentioned period of the agreement, he resigned from the office but the local JUI-F leaders and office-bearers failed to make their nazims resign. 

However, before the 2018 elections, Mardan District Nazim Himayatullah Mayar along with 10 district council members tendered resignation from their offices to contest the general elections. District Naib Nazim Asad Ali assumed the charge of acting district nazim.

Other district assembly members who resigned included opposition leader Malik Shaukat, Abdus Sattar, Umer Farooq Kaka Khel, Adel Nawaz, Maulana Amant Shah, Malak Ayaz, Sadia Mayar, Naeema Naz and Sajda Hanif. Himayatullah Mayar remained district nazim for two years, nine months and eleven days. Later, he was fielded by ANP to contest the elections from PK-51 Mardan. However, he did not succeed on the seat. PTI opposition leader in the district assembly contested elections on PK-48 Mardan and succeeded, and Umar Farooq Kakakhel contested elections from PK-53 Mardan on PTI ticket but could not succeed. Maulana Amanat Shah contested elections on PK-52 on JUI-F ticket. However, later, his party leader made an alliance with PML-N and announced to with draw his candidature on the seat.   

The acting district nazim Asad Ali has called the district council meeting on August 9. Punjab High Court has allowed the Punjab chairman to contest the general elections without resigning from the office. On the other side, PTI, ANP and ally parties have started struggle for the office of Mardan district nazim. ANP has nominated Humayun Khan for the district nazim office. However, PTI has not nominated anyone for the district nazim slot, so far.

Acting district nazim while talking to The Nation said that resignations of all the 10 members were already approved according to the Local Body Act 2013. He added that, however, these members can go to Peshawar High Court in connection with the Punjab High Court decision.