ISLAMABAD: Lobbying for the position of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) chief minister is in full swing following the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) victory in the recently held general election and a new face may become KP’s top man, however some reports suggest that Pervez Khattak might get the position for the second consecutive time.
Even though neither has the PTI announced a candidate for the job of KP CM nor has it given a hint in this regard, certain personalities wish to secure the coveted slot and certain families are also likely to present their scion as the future candidate of KP CM.
PTI Chairman Imran Khan will be taking a final decision in this regard soon as consultation among PTI stalwarts is in process.
Sources in PTI informed Pakistan Today that a good number of recently elected young members of provincial assembly (MPA) of KP are in favour of nominating a “young” person for the post of chief minister of the KP province.
These newly elected members of KP assembly have requested the senior leadership to only nominate a young person in contrast to an old person as a young person is more likely to be free from corruption charges.
They have requested the leadership to consider a person who does not have any inquiry on corruption allegations against him in process.
Furthermore, they believe that the performance of the former KP CM, who is an aged man, was not good since several projects were not completed within due time and this led to severe criticism of the PTI from other political parties during the last tenure that ended on May 31, 2018.
“The majority of young MPAs of KP assembly are in favour of nominating former provincial education minister Atif Khan instead of Khattak as KP CM,” said sources.
They further added that although former KP assembly speaker Asad Qaiser is an influential candidate and is also striving for the provinces’ top slot, he is behind Atif Khan due to National Accountability Bureau (NAB) cases on his brother and less support of newly elected KP assembly MPAs.
Similarly, former KP CM Pervez Khattak is allegedly involved in various corruption cases and is responsible for incomplete implementation of PTI Chairman Imran Khan reforms agenda due to his alleged ignorance and poor health. This is in addition to a case of corruption that pertains to delay and cost escalation of Peshawar metro bus project, a case of wrong use of a helicopter, and a case related to use of poor language against a rival political force (PPP). The cases are pending with the NAB and Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
It is worth mentioning that Atif Khan could not obtain the required support from the party’s senior leadership in 2013 and Pervez Khattak had become KP’s top man with majority support. Atif remained an open opponent of Khattak and had boycotted cabinet meetings on several occasions.
Despite repeated attempts for Atif Khan comments, he did not respond to telephone calls or text messages on his personal cell phone number.