Gilgit:Muhammad Ashraf Sada’s election to Gilgit-Baltistan Council comes across as an opportunity to put into effect all those aspirations that a diehard political worker wants to achieve.
Sada is one of the six candidates who made it to G-B Council—the upper house of the regional parliament—in the elections held earlier this week.
Hailing from Skardu and a graduate from Punjab University, the 45-year-old political enthusiast was one of the four candidates elected from Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.
Sada is considered the best of the elected candidates. His political acumen and oratory and writing skills have consolidated his reputation as one of the finest candidates.
“All I can do is thank my party leaders for trusting a worker like me,” he told The Express Tribune.
Although many ‘heavyweights’ from G-B lost the race for the prestigious slot, Sada managed to emerge triumphant.
“Notwithstanding this success, I will always be a worker for my party [and remain faithful to] Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and G-B Chief Minister Hafeezur Rehman,” he said.
The loyal veteran
Sada was 20 years old when he became one of the founding members of PML-N in Baltistan – the second largest town of G-B which is also home to one of the world’s highest peaks, K2.
With the passage of time, he became an important part of his party and held various important portfolios.
Sada was among those few party loyalists in G-B who remained determined and continued to work for PML-N during former military ruler General (retd) Pervez Musharraf’s regime. This happened at a time when leaders from his party in G-B shifted their loyalties to the military dictator.
Against all odds
In 2014, Sada survived an attempt on his life in his hometown. He received three bullets but managed to drive to the hospital from a distance of three kilometres.
“I do not know who wanted to kill me,” Sada said. “But I have forgiven them for the sake of peace and my area’s interest.”
The G-B Council member was also among the protesters who were thrashed by the police when Nawaz returned home after ending his exile during Musharraf’s government.
Jack of all trades
The young politician has a keen interest in literature and poetry.
He has also worked as a journalist for eight years.
“Life has been full of adventure but I have learnt that it is extremely important to remain loyal to your party leadership, cause and country,” Sada said.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 23rd, 2016.