BAJAUR AGENCY - Leaders of political parties and trade union association of Bajaur Agency on Saturday expressed anguish over the Election Commission of Pakistan decision of cancelling the newly-allocated National Assembly seat for the agency and announced to launch protest against the EC verdict.

The decision was taken during an emergency meeting held here under the auspices of All Bajaur Political Parties Alliance (ABPPA) with the alliance president Abdul Manan in the chair.

Besides, senior leaders of almost all political parties, representatives of elected lawmakers and former legislators including Sahibzada Haroon-ur-Rasheed and Syed Akhoon Zada Chattan also participated in the meeting.

Briefing the participants about the meeting agenda, leaders of ABPPA said that the sole point of the gathering was to adopt a joint and effective strategy to get back the third seat of National Assembly, which the ECP had cancelled on Friday.

The participants were informed that the said seat of National Assembly was allocated to Bajaur Agency on March 5 by the ECP keeping in view huge population of the agency. However, according to the ECP verdict made on Friday, they observed that the seat had been withdraw from the agency and awarded to Kurram Agency.

After the detailed briefing on the issue by the ABPPA leaders, the participants condemned abolition of the newly-allocated seat of National Assembly for the agency. They termed the cancelation of third seat of National Assembly of the agency by the ECP as ‘totally wrong, unjustified and injustice with the people of the agency’.

The participants criticised the ECP for its verdict, adding that it was absolutely against the interest of the people of Bajaur Agency. They said that the ECP had no right to cancel the third NA seat from the agency as it had been approved in line with the recent census report.

The participants described that neither the ECP had allocated the third seat of National Assembly for the agency as a gift, nor the people of agency had requested for it, but the seat was allocated for the agency only due to its population count.

They said that allocation of the new seat of NA for the agency was purely on merit which was only aimed to end sense of deprivation of the people of the agency as Bajaur was the most-populated agency in the tribal areas.

After lengthy discussion, the participants agreed to use all out efforts and resources to get back the said seat of NA for the agency.

It was decided in the meeting that they would challenge the verdict in Election Commission of Pakistan in Peshawar High Court, Islamabad High Court and Supreme Court of Pakistan.

It was also decided that workers of all political and religious parties and trade union association would launch a joint protest against the ECP’s verdict to get back the said seat immediately.

Later, addressing a news conference, senior leaders of various political and religious parties and trade union association’s representatives, including All Bajaur Political Parties Alliance president Abdul Manan, JI leader Sahib Zada Haroon Rasheed, PPP leader Akhoon Zada Chattan, PML-N leader Nizamuddin Khan, ANP leader Attullah Khan, PPP Bajaur President Aurganzeb and others criticised the ECP for taking back the third seat of National Assembly from Bajaur Agency.

They said that the third seat was the right of Bajaur Agency as it was the most papules agency in Fata. They pledged to utilise their energies and abilities for the right of agency to get back the said seat for the agency at all cost.

They announced to launch a series of protest demonstrations against the ECP verdict across the agency, saying that first protest would take place in Khar on Sunday.

To a question, they said that workers of political and religious parties and trade union association were on the same page over the issue, saying that ECP would see that how people of Bajaur would struggle for their rights.