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Akram Durrani elected NWFP chief minister

November 30, 2002

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PESHAWAR, Nov 29: The Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal’s candidate, Akram Khan Durrani, hailing from southern district of Bannu, was elected Frontiers’ 22nd chief minister with an overwhelming majority here on Friday.

Laying down the priorities of his government, Mr Durrani put an immediate ban on the sale of liquor and all sorts of gambling in the province. His government would implement MMA’s manifesto that was the base of their success in the elections, he added.

Mr Durrani bagged 78 votes against the joint candidate of the four-party opposition, Qalandar Khan Lohdi, who secured 41 votes. Mr Lohdi from Abbottabad was jointly put by the Pakistan People’s Party (Sherpao), the PPP Parliamentarian, the Awami National Party and the PML-Q.

All the five independent members led by Sardar Inyatullah Khan Gandapur and the members of the PML-N voted for Mr Durrani. Later, one MPA from Mansehra, Shujah Salam Khan, joined the MMA.

MMA secretary general Maulana Fazlur Rehman and some other MNAs, who were present in the gallery, also witnessed the polling for CM slot. After his (Fazal) meeting with the PML-Q spokesman, Chaudhary Shujahat Huassain, it was expected that the PML-Q would side with the MMA, but it opted for otherwise.

The international electronic media, including BBC Television, ARY, Japanese Television Network NHK and Geo TV made the extensive coverage of the event. Newsmen, representing foreign newspapers were also present for the coverage of the House proceedings.

Earlier, when Speaker Bakht Jahan Khan read out a presidential order for holding the election for the CM under the Article 130 (2-a) MPAs Mohammad Amin (Swat), Akhtar Nawaz (Haripur) and Mazhar Jamil Alizai tried to speak on points of order, but the speaker disallowed them.

Mureed Kazim of the PPP-S, Sirajul Haq and Pir Mohammad Khan of the MMA read out, one-by-one, resolutions in favour of their candidates contesting for the post of chief minister.

Before seeking show-of-hand for the CM election, Speaker Bakht Jahan Khan spoke at length on the occurrence of historic events like revelation of Quran, creation of Pakistan, battle of Badar and conquest of Makkah during the month of Ramadan. He told his fellow MPAs that he would remain impartial in the House and work for the parliamentary traditions in a better way.

After winning the coveted slot, Mr Durrani said he would work for the betterment of the people who were pinning great hopes in this House for the solution of their longstanding problems. “I am a follower of late Maulana Mufti Mahmood, who made some historic decisions for the rights of the people. I will cooperated with the federal government to get our due rights from the centre. But I will not hesitate in rendering resignation, if it comes to the crunch, in this House”, he added.

He said his government would bring concrete changes to the law and order situation, education, health and industrial sector. The poverty and unemployment were the most pressing areas where they would seek federal government’s assistance for their eradication, he added.

Bashir Ahmed Bilour of the ANP, Abdul Akbar Khan of the PPP, Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani of the PML-Q, Mureed Kazim of the PPP-S and others congratulated Mr Durrani on his success in the elections and reminded him that opposition was an integral part of any good democracy.

Mr Gandapur advised the new chief minister to refrain from any sort of hostility with the federal government, because this poor province could not sustain any confrontation with the centre on any issue.

When the clock struck 1pm, Hafiz Akhtar Ali from Mardan called for the prayers. The speaker adjourned the house till Friday prayers, which met again at 2.30pm.