HARIPUR: The candidate of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf for the office of prime minister, Omar Ayub Khan, said here on Tuesday that he would give back premiership to Imran Khan after winning the slot.

He was addressing a gathering of his supporters, who received him at Jhari Kas interchange of Hazara Motorway on his first formal arrival in the city after winning the Feb 8 elections and going into hiding more than nine months ago. The supporters of the MNA-elect and PTI general secretary general took him to his Haripur office in a motorcade.

Omar Ayub Khan, who was elected from his home constituency for the fourth time, addressed the party workers and termed approval of his candidature for the office of prime minister by Imran Khan an honour for the people of Haripur.

“As a first step after being elected prime minister, I will ‘recover’ Imran Khan and all PTI workers from detention and then hand over the office of PM to Imran Khan,” he said. He said that he stood by Imran Khan in difficult times.

He said that he faced teargas shelling, stone pelting, torture, criminal cases and raids of police on his home, office and houses of relatives but sustained every pressure and refused to budge from the principled stand.

“I am in my city after 11 months. My father Gohar Ayub Khan was hospitalised but I failed to serve him,” said Mr Khan, who is also a former federal minister. However, he disclosed to his supporters that he used to visit his ailing father intermittently till the moment he breathed his last in his lap.

He lamented that heavy contingent of Punjab police did not allow him to see the burial of his father. He said that he and his family stood tall against pressure because his parents taught him to stand by the truth and friends in need.

“We have proved that we stood by Imran Khan and the party,” he said, adding that those who, entered into deals and chose an easy way with a wish to win the elections, faced humiliating defeat.

The PTI general secretary claimed that his party would form governments in centre and provinces to put the country back on the track of development and prosperity.

Former provincial minister Yousuf Ayub Khan and Raja Ehtesham also addressed the gathering.

Published in Dawn, February 21st, 2024

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