PESHAWAR, May 20: Former military ruler Pervez Musharraf’s All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) will unconditionally support Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf-led coalition government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Only APML MPA-elect Ghulam Mohammad, who is from Chitral, told Dawn on Monday that Pervez Musharraf had directed him to favour PTI in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly.
PTI nominee for the chief minister’s office Pervez Khattak is learnt to have welcomed the ‘goodwill gesture’ of former military ruler, who is being tried in the court of law on different charges.
PTI chairman Imran Khan, who had supported Musharraf in referendum, was strong opponent of his military regime and blamed him (Musharraf) for prevailing situation in the country.
Pervez Khattak and PTI central leader Azam Swati also held a meeting with Ghulam Mohammad in Peshawar to garner his support for the coalition government in the province.
Mr Ghulam Mohammad said he had a meeting with detained Pervez Musharraf two days ago at his fortified farmhouse in Islamabad’s Chak Shahzad area that had been declared a sub-jail.
The former military ruler has been put under house arrest after a court cancelled protective bail granted to him in the judges’ detention case.
“This is the order of my boss to unconditionally support the PTI government in KP,” he said.
Mr Ghulam Mohammad won election from PK-90 (Chitral-II) constituency by securing 10,691 votes. He will be the APML parliamentary leader in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly.
APML, which had boycotted the general elections over the rejection of Musharraf’s nomination papers and his subsequent arrest in the judges’ detention case, has also secured the sole National Assembly seat, NA-32, from Chitral.
MNA-elect Shahzada Iftikharuddin bagged 29,772 votes, showing the immense popularity of Musharraf in Chitral. Mr Ghulam Mohammad said his party would unconditionally support the PTI-led coalition government in the province.
“I did not demand any portfolio in the cabinet or any other coveted position in the next government,” he said.
PTI has won 35 seats in the provincial assembly and struck a deal with Jamaat-i-Islami, Qaumi Watan Party, Awami Jamhoori Ittehad Pakistan and independents to form the next coalition government in the province.
Three independent MPAs-elect, including former minister Sameeullah Alizai, have also supported the PTI-led coalition government.
Amazingly, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, which portrayed Musharraf its ‘foe’, has also sought support of APML MPA-elect Ghulam Mohammad to increase its strength in KP Assembly. However, the AMPL member-elect preferred PTI.