Posted on 29 April 2011.
Source (Dardistantimes) Nawaz Khan Naji, the nationalist leader of Balawaristan National Front has secured a double margin victory, defeating the PPP fed Jawahir Ali Khan. The people of Ghizar have changed the course of politics in Gilgit-Baltistan by choosing a home-grown political thought for the first time ever in the history of the region. Nawaz Khan Naji has got 8332 votes against 4513 votes of PPP Candidate.
Col. Karim of Pakistan Muslim League (N) stood second by getting 5051 votes. The results of the election have shunned Mehdhi Shah’s sky rocking claims of his party position in Ghizar. Mehdhi Shah has wondered how on the earth a candidate could win in the presence of a party Governor and other Ministers.
“A victory of an opposing party— in the presence of our governor and senior ministers — is completely incomprehensible for me. Senior Party leaders are largely responsible for the defeat. I will call upon a party meeting in order to probe into what went wrong in the election”, Mehdhi Shah said.
On other hand, Col. Karim of Muslim League (N) has thanked the people for their vigorous preference: him over the PPP candidate. He has accepted the mandate of the people and has offered his party support to Nawaz Khan Naji to better represent the people of Ghizar.
The election in Ghizar 19, by and large, remained peaceful; nevertheless, high security arrangements were put in place to hold the elections in 51 polling stations peacefully. Social and political circles in Gilgit term the victory of Naji as the change of direction while other equate Naji with Muzzafar Railey who started as a nationalist and became a loyalist to the former dictator, Perveiz Musharaf.
There was a vigorous criticism on PPP government of Gilgit-Baltistan that they attempted to influence and temper the electoral. Millions of rupees – in cash and in kind – were poured into the district even the day before the polling. That hardly impacted the people of Ghizar whose political vision, for decades, remained Larkana centric. Political workers in Gilgit-Baltistan see the defeat as the receding of PPP glaciers in Ghizar.
“This is the last round of PPP. The people of Ghizar have set the standard. Others, in Gilgit-Baltistan should follow them to change the treadmill. I salute to the people of Ghizar who did not succumbed to pressure of fertilizers or flour. They were not impressed of the Governor and Chief Ministers. They defeated the government resources and machinery and listened to their inner conscious and decided what was best for them.” Said Mirza Hussain.
Naji, although, a sensible and seasoned politician, will have to navigate carefully through the turbulent politics of Gilgit-Baltistan, for carrying an off-beat ideology and jumping into the busy traffic of under table licensed politicians will easily dim his stance in the national politics. However, his victory will have a long lasting impact on the voices raised for the rights of Gilgit-Baltistan.
An ex-party fellow of Nawaz Khan Naji, Hamid Khan has blamed that Naji is an under cover agent of ISI and that the secret agency is brewing a victory for him. In a local newspaper, few days before the election, he has felt sorry for Naji that he is playing in the hands of the agency to dismantle nationalistic struggles in the region.
Nawaz Khan Naji has said that his victory is the victory of his ideology that best represents the people of the region.
File Photo: Nawaz Khan Naji protesting against Gilgit Baltistan Governance package.