ISLAMABAD: A day after dissolving the party’s organisational structure across the country, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday nominated new office-bearers of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) at the central and provincial levels reviving the eight-year-old party structure.
Mr Khan in his capacity as chairman of the party has appointed federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar as central secretary general in place of MNA Aamer Mehmood Kiani, who has been made additional secretary general.
The nominations were announced by federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry through his official social media account on Twitter.
According to Mr Chaudhry, federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood has been made president of the party’s central Punjab chapter and federal Minister for Industries and Production Khusro Bakhtiar president of the PTI’s south Punjab chapter.
Asad Umar to be central secretary general
Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Zaidi has been made president of PTI Sindh whereas Defence Minister Pervez Khattak has been given the responsibility to reorganise the party in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where the party recently suffered a defeat in the first phase of the local government elections.
National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri has been nominated as president of the PTI’s Balochistan chapter.
After the general elections in 2013, the PTI had introduced new party structure under which Punjab and KP were divided into four regions each with no office-bearers at the province level. Later, the same structure based on regions was maintained in the new constitution adopted by the party in 2019 and Sindh and Balochistan were also divided into four regions.
However, the new nominations show that Mr Khan has abolished the party’s organisational structure as given in the constitution and appointed office-bearers at the central and provincial level.
There have been no changes in the party’s structures in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan chapters so far.
Talking to Dawn, Mr Chaudhry said Imran Khan had made these nominations temporarily by using his special powers as the party chairman. He said this “interim set-up” would continue to function till the time the party had a new constitution for which a special constitutional committee had already been set up.
The information minister said the first meeting of the constitution committee was held on Saturday which discussed the proposals for new constitution. He said the party found it necessary to amend the constitution after finding some loopholes in the previously agreed constitution.
Soon after his nomination as the new secretary general of the PTI, Mr Umar tweeted that it was an “honour” for him to have a key position in the country’s largest political party.
“Having an important position in Pakistan’s largest political party is an honour as well as a big responsibility. Under the leadership of Imran Khan and as per the expectations of the party workers and voters, the PTI will become more stronger,” tweeted Mr Umar, adding: “The workers of this party are its assets, the example of which is not found in any other party.”
Similarly, Ali Zaidi in a tweet said he was “humbled by the faith” that the prime minister had shown in him and that he would try to live up to the expectations of all, especially PTI workers.
“Together we will pull Sindh out of deprivation,” tweeted Mr Zaidi.
The dissolution of previous PTI organisations had been announced by Mr Chaudhry in a press conference on Friday after a meeting of the party’s senior leadership that was presided over by the prime minister to review the party’s dismal performance in the local bodies elections in KP where the party has been ruling for more than eight years.
In the meeting, Prime Minister Khan had constituted a 21-member committee to form a new structure of the party organisations and draft a new constitution.
The committee comprises Pervez Khattak, Mahmood Khan, Murad Saeed, Asad Qaiser and Ali Amin Gandapur from KP; Fawad Chaudhry, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Hammad Azhar, Khusro Bakhtiar, Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar, Saifullah Niazee, Amir Kayani and Sardar Usman Buzdar from Punjab; Mir Jan Mohammad Jamali and Qasim Suri from Balochistan, Imran Ismail and Ali Zaidi from Sindh and Asad Umar from Islamabad.
Prime Minister Khan had blamed selection of wrong candidates for the party’s defeat in the first phase of the local government elections in KP and expressed the hope that the PTI would bounce back with strength in the second phase of the elections scheduled to be held next month. He had also claimed that he would himself monitor selection of party candidates for all LG polls to be held in the country in future.
Published in Dawn, December 26th, 2021