PM has allotted Rs400m for constituency.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz MNA elected from NA-19, Haripur Babar Nawaz Khan has still not taken the oath for his office, creating much uncertainty among his supporters.
Even though Omar Ayub was forced to leave the seat, he and Babar’s long-standing rival Dr Raja Amir Zaman diverted their energies towards making sure the new entrant lost. However, on August 16, PML-N’s young candidate Babar Nawaz Khan defeated Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Dr Raja Amir Zaman with over 45,000 votes. The Election Commission of Pakistan subsequently notified Babar Khan as MNA the next week. However, Babar has not yet taken an oath for his office yet, exposing over 137,000 electorates to a great deal of uncertainty.
People who had voted for the young MNA are waiting for many development schemes in the constituency. “The youth had pinned hopes on their young MNA but the delay in oath taking is making them nervous,” said Waseem Khan, a university student. He added the Khanpur-Taxila Road project, provision of gas, electricity, installation of new transformers, railway crossings and some other development schemes and federal government matters were waiting to be taken up by the MNA.
He said after the 2013 elections, the tug of war between Omar Ayub and Raja Amir Zaman had wasted a lot of time, depriving the district of due attention from the federal government. “This delay in oath taking is adding to our misery,” he said.
Gul said after the allocation of the budget for 2015-16, not a single penny was allotted to Haripur “despite the fact it was the largest revenue generating district” of K-P. “Look at the condition of our dilapidated roads, low voltage, frequent burnout of transformers and non-availability of gas in several union councils,” he pointed out.
Beacon of hope
Haripur PML-N Youth Wing Chapter President Advocate Sohail Khan said Babar was likely to take his oath soon after Muharram holidays as the parliamentary session was scheduled by then. He denied the existence of any legal reason behind the delay.
“Babar enjoyed the support of 50% of the youth vote; they believe the young MNA represents their true sentiments and aspirations,” Sohail added.
Another PML-N worker enjoying close ties with senior leadership claimed after Babar’s victory, PML-N bigwigs were lending support to the new elect in a bid to get him a cabinet slot.
These leaders include Governor Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan, Provincial President Pir Sabir Shah, Nawaz Sharif’s son-in-law Captain Safdar, NA Deputy Speaker Murtaza Javed Abbasi, Senator General Salahuddin Tirmizi, Minister for Information Pervez Rasheed, K-P Assembly Parliamentary leader Aurangzeb Nalotha.
When approached, MNA Babar Nawaz Khan brushed aside the notion that the delay in his oath taking had any negative impact on his future. “The parliamentary session is scheduled to be held soon after Muharram and I will take the oath then,” he said.
He said even though he has yet to take the oath, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had already announced funds of Rs400 million for development projects in Haripur. “More funds will be allocated after I take the oath,” he said. According to Babar, a focus on the motorway, a dry port and economic corridor projects will bring about real development in Haripur.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 20th, 2015.