PM Imran wants PTI leaders to gear up for KP polls

Published February 1, 2022
Prime Minister Imran Khan addresses the media in this file photo. — DawnNewsTV/File
Prime Minister Imran Khan addresses the media in this file photo. — DawnNewsTV/File

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday asked elected Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) representatives hailing from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to learn from ‘mistakes’ committed in the first phase of local government elections in the province and increase public interaction before the second phase of the polls scheduled for March 27.

Mr Khan would visit Bahawalpur division where he would launch the health insurance card facility on Tuesday for over 10 million residents of three districts namely Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalpur and Bahawalnagar, according to an official announcement.

Sources told Dawn that the prime minister opted to hold meetings at his hilltop palatial Banigala residence to minimise his public exposure as per Covid-19 SOPs before leaving for China on an official tour from February 3 to 5.

PM to visit Bahawalpur today for launch of health insurance facility

Wearing light blue jersey with blue sweatpants and joggers, the prime minister, who apparently did not shave, was holding a meeting in the open air, official footage showed. At the meeting with KP Chief Minister Mehmood Khan and party lawmakers from the province, Mr Khan expressed displeasure over PTI’s defeat in the first phase of the LG polls in its stronghold, including Peshawar, where archrival Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) bagged unexpected seats.

The premier called for mobilising party workers to intensify pre-election drive in KP where the next phase of local government elections would be held in 18 districts for which candidates are required to submit their nomination papers between February 7 and 11.

According to the PM Office, the meeting discussed the overall political situation in KP, ongoing development schemes and matters related to party organisation.

It was attended by Minister for Communications Murad Saeed, MNAs Haider Ali Khan, Saleem Rahman, Sahibzada Sibghatullah, Mehboob Shah, Mohammad Bashir Khan, Junaid Akbar, Mohammad Nawaz Khan and Saleh Mohammad and MPAs Nazeer Ahmed Abbasi, Haji Qalander Khan Lodhi, Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani, Zubair Khan Taj Mohammad, Wazirzada, Muhammad Azam Khan, Hamayun Khan, Liaquat Ali Khan, Shafiullah, Mohammad Deedar Khan, Abdul Ghaffar, Syed Iqbal Mian, Shakeel Ahmed, Pir Musawar Khan, Syed Ahmed Hussain Shah, Babar Saleem Swati, Nawabzada Farid Salahuddin, Mohammad Iqbal Khan, Syed Ghazi Ghazan Jamal, Shaukat Ali Yousafzai, Naseerullah Khan, Sharafat Ali, Azizullah Khan, Fazal Hakeem Khan Yousafzai, Amjad Ali and Mohibullah Khan.

Earlier in December, PM Khan had admitted that the PTI had made ‘mistakes’ in the first phase of local government elections in KP and paid the price. “Selection of wrong candidate, was a major cause, however, in the second phase of LG polls, the PTI would bounce back with strength,” he tweeted after the results had come out.

Expressing displeasure over the defeat, the prime minister said he would himself monitor all LG polls to be held in the country in future.

Similarly, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry had claimed: “Each constituency needs to be managed, and we lost most of the contests due to mismanagement.” The rise of “religious extremist parties” such as the TLP and JUI-F would ultimately harm the country, he had remarked.

Published in Dawn, February 1st, 2022

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