Peshawar - The PTI has emerged as the most popular party in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by bagging biggest chunk of the provincial assembly seats but with its 34 seats, out of the total 99, it is not in a position to form provincial government on its own.

Jamiat Ulema Islam-Fazl JUI-F, which has secured 16 seats up till now, is also too eager to rule this militancy-ridden province and is out to contact other parties, especially the PML-N which also has got more than a dozen slots.

Challenging ANP, PPP and JUI-F, the parties deeply rooted in the province, Imran Khan’a tsunami swept elections in Mardan, Nowshera, Swabi, Peshawar, Malakand and Swat districts, almost wiping out the outgoing ANP rulers and severely undercutting the expected gains of JUI-F, PPP and PML-N in these areas.

But PTI’s score is not very high and its prospects of building a wholesome coalition are restricted by its stark policy differences with the possible partners. Apparently, Jamaat Islami, which has got seven seats, is the only party having similarity of opinion on many key issues. Qaumi Wattan Party (QWP) with its 9 seats could also be a possible ally. Then, there are 13 independents whose support could be sought. But the PTI has not formally contacted any party for a coalition government.

The political realities in KPK are much different from those in the other provinces, and there are many reasons for this. Terrorism is the biggest challenge here. US drones attacks in the neighbouring tribal belt is constantly influencing political atmosphere in province. ANP was elected to power mainly because it had promised to deliver peace but it was voted out this time because it failed to fulfil it.

Having suffered a lot in war-on-terror, people voted for PTI hoping it would manage to bring peace and put the province on track of progress, prosperity and a positive change – the foremost slogan Imran Khan has been raising from day one. A strong government will be needed to tackle the security problem; therefore, if the PTI has to form its government and deliver on its peace promise, it will need to convince others to support its agenda. Another major challenge for the PTI government will be creation and maintenance of a positive relationship with the Centre, where it will be sitting on the opposition benches.

An old player in power politics, the JUI-F is contacting PML-N, QWP, AJI and independents to install a coalition government of theirs in the province. Sources said that talks in this regard would soon take place in Peshawar. Political observers say it will be not much difficult for the JUI-F, which ruled the province for about five years under the banner of MMA, to lure other parties and win independents to its side.