SWABI, May 14: Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan has supported the party’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa president Asad Qaisar for the slot of chief minister, reliable sources told Dawn here on Tuesday.

Supporters of PTI provincial president claimed that the party chairman had not made any announcement that Pervez Khattak – another PTI leader –would be their parliamentary leader in the province.

“The announcement about Mr Khattak being tipped as chief minister was a great surprise for us and soon after that we have also taken some damage control measures,” said one of the key supporters of Mr Qaisar.

The sources said that soon after the announcement Mr Qaisar along with other key leaders of the party dashed to Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital, Lahore to meet Mr Khan and apprised him about their efforts and forging alliance with the Jamaat-i-Islami.

“Yes, we met our party chief Imran Khan and discussed issues related to the government formation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” said Mr Qaisar when contacted by this correspondent.

Asked about his chances of getting party nomination for the chief minister’s slot, he said: “Khan was very positive about this.” Mr Qaisar said that they had been working on enlisting the support of required number of elected MPAs to form government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The sources said that during Lahore meeting, the main thrust was to make it clear that Mr Qaisar had rendered sacrifices for the party during last 16 years, while Mr Khattak had only recently joined the PTI.

Answering another question, the party’s provincial president said that Mr Khan’s approach was based on democratic norms and they appreciated his sagacity.

“We are the followers of Mr Khan and looking to his green signal in all affairs,” he said.

Mr Qaisar also said that they had already met with the leaders of Awami Jamhoori Ittehad Pakistan (AJIP) to seek their support in government formation.

Meanwhile, JI provincial amir Mushtaq Ahmad Khan told Dawn that their relations with the PTI would continue to strengthen in future.

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