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Bittersweet symphony: Foes in K-P Assembly, friends in Chitral

: The seat adjustment agreement between Jamaat-e-Islami and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl has left the parties in an awkward situation. As lawmakers from both parties exchange heated words in the provincial legislature as warring camps, the two parties will step into the local bodies’ elections hand in glove in Chitral district.

JI and JUI-F announced their agreement for 16 of the district’s 24 union councils (UC) on Wednesday. JUI-F Chitral general secretary Maulana Abdul Shakoor said both parties have reached an understanding over 16 seats while they will compete for the remaining eight.

“The party that secures the most seats in the first phase will have the other’s support in the tehsil and district nazim polls,” he said. In answer to a question, Shakoor said the party’s provincial office bearers will rubber-stamp the adjustment easily.

Under the arrangement, JI would field candidates in union councils of Arandu, Drosh II, Ayun, Chitral I, Danin, Kosht, Mulkhow and Shagram while JUI-F will try its luck in Asherat, Shishi Koh, Drosh I, Broze, Chitral II, Koh, Ovir and Tirich.

Three UCs of Lotkuh tehsil, four of Mastuj and one of Khot have been left open for fair competition. The adjustment is likely to contain the influence of Pakistan Peoples Party in the district.

The two religious parties have a history of ‘cordial’ relations. They managed to bag three seats in Chitral in 2002 under the—now defunct—Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, but failed to make an impact in 2008 and 2013.

Best of both worlds?

JUI-F is also part of a tripartite alliance with PPP and Awami National Party for the LG polls. Comments from the spokespersons of both the alliance and JI could not be obtained.

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