ISLAMABAD - Although campaign for the four Fata seats in Senate has almost come to a halt after the repeal of presidential order of March 5, yet some of the contenders are making last-ditch efforts to secure seats in the upper house in a bid to maintain ministerial portfolios.

Although it is crystal clear that the gang of six independent MNAs would sweep the four seats of Fata by casting votes for their candidates, yet some candidates particularly a former Senator, who served as federal minister for textiles, is on his toes to occupy a seat in the upper house in order to retain his ministry.

The six independent MNAs are all set to vote for candidates, Taj Muhammad Afridi, Aurangzeb Afridi, Sajjad Turi and Momin Khan in the March 20 polls thus shattering the hopes of the five other Fata MNAs to elect a single candidate of their choice.

But even then, Abbas Afridi who completed his tenure on March 11 as Senator and subsequently lost portfolio of minister for textiles, has been suffering an unending sleepless nights only to sail successfully through the elections and to secure a seat for himself.

According to a FATA MNA, Abbas Afridi has been in constant touch with the six independent MNAs for giving him a vote so that he may cling to his ministry once again. “Abbas Afridi has extended the maximum offer but nobody is ready to vote for him,” the MNA said.

On the other hand, former MNA Munir Khan Orakzai who is also one of the aspirants has gone to the optimum level of election campaign and has even asked JUI-F Maulana Fazal ur Rehman to ensure a seat for him.

It is to be mentioned here that election in Orakzai’s constituency has not yet been held due to law and order situation and according to him; he will win if election is held in his area. “I applied for Senate polls only because I don’t see general election on the National Assembly seat of my area,” he told this reporter on phone.

Abdul Raziq Afridi, a former Senator and federal minister, is yet another candidate for Senate who convinced his nephew MNA Qaiser Jamal to converge on Parliament House on the poll day in defiance of his PTI’s policy that has boycotted sessions of the lower house.

Similarly, Fata MNAs Nazir Khan and Ghalib Wazir are trying their best to garner votes for candidates Muhammad Din and Sanaullah Khan as the two contenders are blood relatives of the two lawmakers.

Interestingly, the six Fata MNAs can elect their four candidates by casting votes and by order of priority votes which means that the five other MNAs of Fata cannot clinch a seat for their candidates in the polls.

The lobbying is for breaking the gang of six MNAs in order to clinch a seat for the opposite side. “We are still under immense pressure. But one thing is clear that we will prove that we are not saleable commodity,” MNA Sajid Hussain Turi who is member of the gang of six Fata MNAs told The Nation on Tuesday.

He added that JUI-F was more interested in electing two Senators from Fata. But we will not pay heed to anybody except our candidates. Once we agree on candidates, we don’t alter our stance. We will prove it on Friday,” the MNA added.