ISLAMABAD: Taking a raft of decisions concerning the next democratic set-up in the country, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Friday officially announced its nominees for important slots at the centre and Punjab.
The party nominated Senator Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar and MNA-elect Asad Qaiser as the party’s nominees for the positions of Punjab governor and National Assembly speaker, respectively, while PML-Q’s Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi for Punjab Assembly speaker.
The nominations were announced by PTI Vice-Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi after attending a meeting of senior party leadership chaired by PTI chief Imran Khan.
Talking to the media outside Bani Gala, Qureshi said Asad Qaiser being former speaker of K-P Assembly managed the house effectively for the last five years.
“Qaiser is familiar with all parliamentary practices and traditions and has a working relation with opposition parties,” Qureshi said.
Qaiser served as the fourteenth speaker of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly during the PTI’s tenure in the provincial government, 2013-18.
Hailing from Swabi district, he won NA-18 (Swabi-I) in the general elections 2018. One of the earliest members of the PTI, Qaiser remained president PTI K-P until 2013.
Noting that the party is in a clear-cut majority in Punjab, Qureshi said it has been decided to nominate Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar for the office of Punjab governor.
“Sarwar has served as governor of Punjab in the past and is familiar with the constitutional demands of the position of the office. By nominating him for the slot, the PTI wants to drive the benefit from his experience, vision and expertise.”
Sarwar served as Punjab governor from August 2013 to January 2015. He was also member of the British parliament. In March 2018, he was elected to the Senate on a PTI ticket.
He would have to vacate his Senate seat before assuming the office of Punjab governor.
The party also announced the nomination of PML-Q’s Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi for the slot of Punjab Assembly speaker.
In the 2018 general elections, the PTI and the PML-Q had made seat adjustments in some of the constituencies of Punjab, and following the election the PML-Q had announced joining the PTI-led coalition governments at the Centre and in Punjab.
Qureshi also informed the media that the party had appointed its senior leaders to coordinate with independents and allied parties in different regions.
Former K-P chief minister Pervez Khattak will be coordinating with coalition partners and independents in K-P and Fata, Dr Arif Alvi in Sindh, Qasim Suri and Khan Muhammad Jamali in Balochistan, MNA Shafqat Mehmood in central Punjab, Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar in west Punjab, Amir Kiyani in north Punjab and Shah Mehmood Qureshi in south Punjab.
Qureshi added that the PTI chief will hold a dinner reception for the newly-elected MNAs of his party and members and leaderships of all allied parties — including the MQM-P, PML-Q, BNP, GDA, AML, and BAP on August 13.
He said some MNAs-elect have announced to keep their status as independent in the next National Assembly but they have assured their vote and all-out support for the PTI’s nominees for the prime minister, speaker and deputy speaker of NA.
A PTI spokesperson said consultations over the nomination of Punjab chief minister and other important positions at the Centre and in provinces was under way.