KARACHI: As soon as former Sindh governor Muhammad Zubair tendered his resignation, leaders of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) intensified their pursuit of the prestigious post.
The post had fallen vacant after Zubair, who was nominated by the previous PML-N government, resigned last week, citing “massive rigging” in the general elections.
Sources privy to the development told The Express Tribune that among those coveting this post are representatives of the business community, philanthropists retired bureaucrats and judges.
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Frontrunners included: PTI’s MPA-elect Imran Ismail, Naeemul Haq, who also happens to be one of the close aides of Imran Khan, PTI leader Mumtaz Bhutto, who had previously served as Sindh’s chief minister and governor, Justice (retd) Nasir Aslam Zahid and businessman Aqeel Kareem Dhedi.
According to PTI sources, the party might opt to appoint someone entirely new as the new governor.
A PTI office-bearer told The Express Tribune: “Since governors represent the Centre in the provinces, the appointment is likely to be made after the voting in of the prime minister, who is likely to be sworn-in on August 15.”
The voting for the speaker and deputy speaker of the National Assembly will precede the vote for the chief executive of the country.
Currently, Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani is serving as the acting governor.
Interestingly, PTI chief Imran Khan had always criticised previous governments for not appointing apolitical governors, insisting that he would appoint individuals with neutral views after coming to power.
Imran Ismail, who currently holds the post of the party’s deputy secretary-general, is said to be the “most favoured candidate” for the post of governor.
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But if he is elevated to this post, he would have to vacate the provincial assembly seat he has already won.
He was elected as an MPA from PS-111.
Ismail has been with Khan before he founded PTI in 1996.
Spokesperson for the PTI chairman Naeemul Haq is also among close friends of Khan.
According to MQM-P’s Syed Ali Raza Abidi, traditionally, governors had almost always been either members or workers of political parties. “PTI now has the chance to demonstrate change in the real sense by appointing non-political governors across Pakistan,” he said.
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