Mian Aslam, Omar Ayub and Ali Amin Gandapur. — Pictures via APP/X

All that we know about PTI’s picks for prime minister, provincial chief executives

Party has announced Omar Ayub Khan as its pick for PM, and Mian Aslam Iqbal and Ali Amin Gandapur for Punjab and KP CMs, respectively.
Published February 15, 2024

With post-election deal-making in high gear, all parties are weighing their options, and the PTI is no different.

After a flurry of meetings with its imprisoned founder Imran Khan throughout the week, the party recently disclosed its picks for the slots of the prime minister as well as chief ministers of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Omar Ayub Khan has come forth as the contender for the premiership, whereas Mian Muhammad Aslam has been nominated as the chief minister of Punjab and Ali Amin Gandapur for the same position in KP.

Here, Dawn.com takes a look at the trio handpicked by the PTI leadership for the coveted positions.

Omar Ayub Khan

Omar, the grandson of former president Field Marshal Ayub Khan, hails from the Haripur district in KP’s Hazara region and is presently serving as the PTI secretary general.

Omar has a political career stretching over two decades, during which he has been associated with three major political parties — PML-N, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) and now PTI.

According to a brief profile published by the Board of Investment (BoI), Omar attained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from George Washington University in 1993 and 1996, respectively. In 2007, he was recognised as one of the Young Global Leaders by the World Economic Forum.

Born on January 26, 1970, Omar entered the Parliament for the first time during the 2002 elections and served as the state minister for finance in ex-premier Shaukat Aziz’s cabinet.

In 2008, he ran for the elections on a PML-Q ticket from Haripur’s NA-19 constituency but was defeated by PML-N’s Sardar Muhammad Mushtaq.

Months before the 2013 general elections, Omar switched allegiance and joined the PML-N. However, he once again lost to PTI’s Dr Raja Amir Zaman.

Omar challenged the result before an election tribunal, which suspended Zaman’s National Assembly (NA) membership and ordered re-polls in seven polling stations. After re-polling, Omar secured a lead of over 500 votes and was declared victorious.

Later, the tribunal’s order was challenged by Zaman before the apex court, which dismissed the same. Subsequently, he filed a review petition against the judgement, which was accepted and Omar was de-seated from the NA seat in June 2015.

In Feb 2018, Omar joined Imran’s PTI. During the same year, he ran for the general elections on a PTI ticket and secured victory, defeating PML-N’s Babar Nawaz Khan.

Following his electoral success, Omar was appointed to the federal cabinet as the energy minister.

In May last year, Omar was appointed as the PTI secretary general during a time when the party was facing a state-backed crackdown following the May 9 riots. He was among the few party leaders who stuck with the party despite adversities.

During the 2024 general elections, Omar ran as a PTI-backed independent candidate and clinched victory by garnering 192,948 votes, surpassing PML-N’s Babar Nawaz Khan, who secured 112,389 votes.

During the election for the prime minister, Omar is expected to be up against PML-N nominee and former premier Shehbaz Sharif — who has the support of PML-N, PPP, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan, PML-Q, Istehkam-i-Pakistan Party and Balochistan Awami Party.

Mian Aslam Iqbal

Iqbal is a seasoned politician with over two decades of experience in parliamentary politics. He served as a member of the Punjab Assembly (PA) from 2002 to 2007 as an independent candidate, but was an ally of the PML-Q, even holding the position of provincial tourism minister from 2003 to 2007.

In the 2008 elections, he contested on a PML-Q ticket but lost. In the 2013 general elections, he ran as a PTI candidate and emerged victorious.

Returning to the PA for a third term in the 2018 general elections, once again on a PTI ticket, Iqbal assumed the role of the minister for Industries, Commerce & Investment.

Meanwhile, in the elections held on Feb 8, Iqbal won from PP-152 (Lahore -VIII) by securing 61,847 votes. He was among those PTI leaders who were declared proclaimed offenders in the Jinnah House case.

As PTI’s nominee for the Punjab chief minister, Iqbal is expected to face tough competition from Maryam Nawaz, who is the PML-N’s pick for the post.

Ali Amin Gandapur

Nominated for KP chief minister, Gandapur is a prominent PTI leader who served as the federal minister for Kashmir affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan from 2018 until April 2022, when the Imran government was sent packing.

Before his stint as the federal minister, Gandapur served as a member of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly from 2013 to 2018. During his tenure in the provincial assembly, he held the role of minister for revenue.

Following the state crackdown on the PTI, Gandapur was named in multiple assault and corruption cases at police stations in Rawalpindi, Lahore, Faisalabad and Gujranwala. He is currently an absconder from the law.

During the Feb 8 polls, Gandapur defeated Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman in NA-44 and JUI-F nominee Kafeel Ahmad Nizami in PK-113 by a huge margin.