PTI’s Ali Amin Gandapur elected KP chief minister, demands justice for Imran and party

Published March 1, 2024
Ali Amin Gandapur in assembly on March 1, 2024.
Ali Amin Gandapur in assembly on March 1, 2024.

Amid intense sloganeering, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Friday elected PTI’s Ali Amin Gandapur as the 22nd chief minister of the province.

The PTI leader clinched an overwhelming victory with 90 votes against rival Ibadullah Khan from the PML-N.

Gandapur, who had served as a federal minister during the PTI government, was nominated for the coveted slot by imprisoned party founder Imran Khan last month. He contested polls on a National Assembly seat (NA-44) and a provincial seat (PK-113) in Dera Ismail Khan. In KP, PTI-backed candidates in a comfortable majority to form the provincial government.

The PTI leader was also among the party leaders who were sent to jail in the aftermath of the May 9 riots.

Today, the KP Assembly convened to vote for the coveted slot of the provincial chief executive and saw Gandapur securing a comfortable victory. The session began a little later than scheduled.

Otherwise calm, pro-Imran Khan slogans continued to echo in the house throughout the session, which was boycotted by the JUI-F.

In his victory speech after the CM elections today, Gandapur asserted that he had become the chief minister in an “independent capacity” and lamented how his party was not even given a “playing field let alone a level playing field” in the February 8 general elections.

“We do not want to carry out politics of revenge,” he said. But at the same time, the PTI leader also stressed that “we know how to snatch our rights”.

Gandapur said he was ready for a probe into the allegations of rigging in the general elections. “Come here and conduct an investigation on the basis of Forms-45,” he stated.

“You can open [investigate] whichever constituency you want,” he said. “I am putting the entire province before you […] we hope that every democratic politician would say that the mandate should be returned because stealing a mandate is akin to betraying the public and violating the Constitution,” Gandapur said in the fiery speech.

He also demanded the immediate resignation of the chief election commissioner, claiming that the Election Commission of Pakistan had failed to fulfill its responsibility. Gandapur also urged the Supreme Court to set up a judicial commission to probe the allegations of rigging.

The PTI leader further stated that Imran Khan was languishing in jail today only because he “exposed a foreign conspiracy before the public”. “Today, the entire nation knows who is elected and who is selected,” Gandapur said.

Talking about the May 9 riots, he said around nine first information reports were registered against him on the day. “If you find any evidence against me, come and arrest me,” the PTI leader said.

He demanded that a “judicial inquiry” should be held into the May 9 events and the “real beneficiaries” of the saga should be exposed. Gandapur also stated that all the PTI leaders falsely implicated should be released within a week and warned that otherwise action would be taken.

Gandapur also promised to end terrorism in KP and said that the government would ensure every person in the province would be able to sleep in peace.

Talking about the economic situation of KP, Gandapur said that he would focus on increasing the revenue of the province and reducing the burdens on the poor segments.

“We will give property, right to inheritance, free legal assistance to women,” he promised, adding that the government would also invest in trade and business development to create employment.

Gandapur also announced that health card in the province would be restored from the first day of Ramazan.

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