ISLAMABAD: Omar Ayub Khan, the grandson of former military dictator General Ayub Khan, joined the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Saturday.
Omar announced his allegiance to PTI after a meeting with party chairman Imran Khan at his Bani Gala residence. Chief Minister Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Pervaiz Khattak and PTI’s former secretary general Jahangir Khan Tareen were also present during the meeting.
Omar who hails from Haripur has made it to the National Assembly twice – first in 2002 after contesting on a ticket of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) and then in 2014 on a Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) ticket.
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In June 2015, he was unseated by the Supreme Court which declared elections in his constituency as null and void. The top court had also ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to hold a by-election in the constituency. However, for some personal reasons Omar did not contest the by-election held towards the end of 2015.
During the regime of former military dictator Pervaiz Musharraf, Ayub served as minister of state for finance from 2004 to 2007.
A statement issued by PTI’s central media department said that Ayub had expressed complete confidence in the party leadership and manifesto.
In 2013 general elections, Ayub had lost to a candidate from the PTI and accused it of committing poll rigging in the election. His plea was accepted and a re-polling was ordered at seven polling stations and Ayub was consequently declared the winning candidate in 2014. But in 2015, he was unseated by the Supreme Court itself.
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Later in the day, the PTI chief addressed a meeting of the party’s central executive committee at a local hotel, which was convened primarily to discuss issues related to the ongoing membership drive.
Addressing the participants, Khan said in the next general elections, the PTI would be in a one-on-one contest with the PML-N in Punjab.
He said the party would definitely learn its lesson from the defeat it faced in the recently held by-election in Lodhran, and mistakes would not be repeated in selection of candidates for 2018 general elections.
The PTI leader said the party’s parliamentary board would soon start work for finalising party candidates. He also used the opportunity to try and clear himself of the allegations of misuse of K-P government resources, saying, “In last five years, I never benefitted even once by using resources of the party’s government in K-P.”
He said the PTI would expose “mega corruption scandals by the governments in Punjab and at the Centre” and an anti-corruption committee had been established for the purpose.
Before attending the CEC meeting, Khan also took to Twitter to criticise the Sharifs, saying “the father-daughter duo really should stop trying to fool the nation by declaring repeatedly that they are going to people’s court for justice! Everyone knows in democracies people use their vote to elect their representatives but it is judiciary that must dispense justice”.
He further said, “State institutions have the task of exposing and acting against corruption etc. Sharifs are implying [that] once one is voted into power, one becomes above the law of the land and beyond any accountability.”