ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) parliamentary committee meets here on Monday (today) to nominate party chairman Imran Khan as prime minister.
The parliamentary committee is also expected to decide the names of federal cabinet members in the meeting to be chaired by Mr Khan. The PTI chief had earlier decided to keep his federal cabinet small with an initial strength of 15 to 20 federal ministers.
“The meeting will endorse the nomination of Imran Khan as next prime minister of the country,” PTI spokesman Fawad Chaudhry confirmed to Dawn when contacted on Sunday.
Asked if the names of cabinet members would also be announced on Monday, the spokesman said the committee was likely to finalise the names of the cabinet members.
Party’s parliamentary body also expected to finalise the names of cabinet members
PTI sources said the party was also considering one federal ministry for the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) after the party with its six MNAs-elect inked an agreement with the PTI to support its government at the Centre.
Besides, it was learnt that the PTI leadership was considering the names of Aleem Khan, Fawad Chaudhry, Dr Yasmin Rashid and Sibtain Khan for the slot of Punjab chief minister.
For the office of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister, former CM Pervez Khattak and another PTI leader Atif Khan are said to be strong candidates.
Pervez Elahi, vice president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Q, was being considered for the position of Punjab Assembly speaker after the PML-Q decided to become PTI’s ally both at the Centre and in Punjab.
The PTI spokesman on Sunday claimed that the number of the party’s members in the National Assembly had reached 174 and 186 in the Punjab Assembly.
With 174 seats at the Centre and 186 in Punjab, the PTI was in a comfortable position to form its federal and provincial governments, he said.
He added that four seats of Balochistan National Party (BNP) had not been included in the 174 seats so far. “I have not included BNP seats in the figure of 174, because our negotiations with the party are still in progress. So far the BNP has not officially announced its support to the PTI,” he added.
The PTI spokesman claimed that the party would easily form its government at the Centre and two provinces, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab.
Responding to a question about PTI’s decision to go into an appeal against the Lahore High Court (LHC) decision for recounting of votes in the Lahore (NA-131) constituency, the spokesman said the court has no right to order for the recount, as it was the responsibility of the ECP. The court had stopped the ECP from issuing notification of Imran’s victory against PML-N’s Khawaja Saad Rafique’s and ordered recounting of votes.
The PTI spokesman said vote recount was under way in 48 constituencies, which was the highest number of constituencies where the ECP had started recounting votes in the electoral history of Pakistan.
The spokesman said the PTI wanted finality of the election results. It was for this reason that the decision was made to challenge the high court’s decision of recounting, he said. In this constituency, he added, Mr Khan had defeated Mr Rafique by a few hundred votes.
Maleeha meets Imran
Earlier, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi met the PTI chief at his Banigala residence on Sunday and congratulated him on his party’s performance in the recent elections.
Japanese ambassador, the British envoy and other foreign dignitaries had also visited the PTI chief in recent days. The envoys of China, Saudi Arabia and the UAE had called on the PTI chairman since his party emerged as the winner of the July 25 polls. Besides Afghan president, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also telephoned Imran Khan to congratulate him over his party’s victory.
Published in Dawn, August 6th, 2018