PESHAWAR: The nominee of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf for the office of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister, Ali Amin Gandapur, has said that he will get rights of the province with the support of other political parties.

Talking to journalists after the maiden meeting of PTI parliamentary party here on Sunday, he said that maintaining law and order, getting constitutional rights of the province and increasing revenue of the province would be main challenges to the next government.

The meeting of parliamentary party was held after two more independently elected lawmakers joined a group of MPAs backed by PTI. Now the total number of PTI-backed MPAs elect in the provincial assembly is 91.

The meeting held at KP Speaker House was chaired by Ali Amin Gandapur. All the MPAs-elect of the party attended the meeting. Two independent MPAs-elect, Fazlullah from Kohistan and Laiq Mohammad Khan from Torghar, joined PTI.

In the meeting, the PTI-backed MPAs-elect reposed confidence in the nomination of Ali Amin Gandapur for the office of chief minister by PTI founder and former prime minister Imran Khan. The meeting was also attended by Speaker KP Assembly Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani and former governor Shah Farman.

Number of PTI-backed MPAs-elect reaches 91 after joining of two more

Addressing the meeting, Mr Gandapur said that PTI leaders and workers rendered tremendous sacrifices during the previous few months and faced hardships with bravery.

“It is an honour that all the party leaders and workers remained united in difficult times,” he said. He said that the next government of PTI in the province would be run in accordance with the vision of Imran Khan. He assured the PTI-backed independent candidates that they would be taken into confidence about all decisions of the provincial government.

One of the MPAs-elect told Dawn that parliamentary party meeting also briefly discussed joining of any party in the provincial assembly to get its share in the reserved seats for women and non-Muslims.

Currently PTI is unable to get any reserved seat as all its candidates contested elections independently without the party’s symbol ‘bat’. Now it is necessary for PTI-backed independent candidates to join a political party to get share in the reserved seats.

Responding to queries raised in this connection, he said that Ali Amin’s reply was clear as he said that decision to join any political party by PTI’s independent candidates would be taken by the central leadership of the party as per instructions of Imran Khan.

He said that PTI leaders including MNA-elect Asad Qaiser, MPA-elect Shaukat Yousafzai and Barrister Mohammad Ali Saif were in correspondence with different political parties at central and provincial level for joining.

Commenting on the reports about joining PTI-P in the provincial assembly, the MPA-elect said that there were minimum chances of joining PTI-P. He added that a lot of resentment persisted among the party leadership as most of the PTI-P leaders parted ways with PTI in hard time.

“We need to join any political party in the KP context because we will get additional 22 to 23 reserved seats for women and non-Muslims by joining any political party,” one of the PTI leader told Dawn.

He said that PTI could form it government conveniently in the province as it had 91 MPAs but getting the reserved seats would help the party in the presidential and Senate elections. “We can elect four senators through the MPAs secured by the party from the share of reserved seats other than those senators, who will be elected through MPAs elected on general seats,” he added.

Mr Gandapur told journalists after the meeting that maintaining law and order, getting constitutional rights of the province and increasing revenue of the province would be main challenges to the next government.

He said that the assembly session could be called after February 22 for the election of chief minister, speaker and deputy speaker. He ruled out the possibility of any confrontation with anyone after formation of the PTI government in the province for the third consecutive term.

Mr Gandapaur said that there would not be any policy of revenge but it was necessary to punish those, who acted ‘more loyal than the king’.

Published in Dawn, February 19th, 2024

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