ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Thursday nominated former provincial information minister Shah Farman for the slot of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) governor.
The decision was taken during a consultative meeting chaired by the party chairman Imran Khan at his residence in Bani Gala, who ultimately approved to nominate Farman for the coveted post.
In the July 25 general elections, Farman won the PK-70 and PK-71 Peshawar constituencies. He, however, lost the PK-70 seat after a vote recount to Awami National Party’s (ANP) Khushdil Khan.
Following announcement of his nomination, Shah Farman along with K-P CM Mehmood Khan met Imran at Bani Gala to hold consultation about formation of the provincial cabinet.
Similarly, sources claim that name of senior party leader Dr Arif Alvi has been finalised as next President of Pakistan. While, PTI vice-chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi will be given foreign affairs ministry.
Among a couple of claimants for the slot of Punjab chief minister, an MPA from Lahore Mian Muhammad Aslam Iqbal has emerged as the likeliest candidate for the top position while PTI has announced it will officially name nominee for the slot today (Thursday).
Meanwhile, Imran has kept his cards close to his chest and is not sharing even with his closest aides his possible choice for Punjab’s top slot. “I am not sure as [Imran] is keeping it to himself. But I suspect it could be Mian Aslam Iqbal. May be I prove totally wrong,” a close aide to PTI chief informed when asked about possible nominee. Another senior leader also confirmed this development adding Dr Yasmin Rashid is still in race.
Earlier, PTI decided to put off the announcement of party’s candidate for this slot on the request of its ally, PML-Q, that apprehended that announcement of name at this stage could create rifts among party MPAs in the province requesting it should be announced after the election of speaker and deputy speaker in the Punjab Assembly.
Another important decision made by PTI’s central leadership is that prime minister-in-waiting Imran will keep an additional portfolio of Federal Minister for Interior, apparently because several party heavyweights — including former K-P CM Pervaiz Khattak, Shafqat Mehmood and Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rasheed were strongly lobbying for the position.
A senior party leader said the decision is political in nature and probably to avoid rifts among senior leadership. “It’s likely that once all heavyweights will be given their respective portfolios in next federal cabinet, Iman may appoint a person of his choice as interior minister at a later stage,” he predicted.
For the information ministry, Senator Faisal Javed and PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry are strong contenders, while the name of Senator Shibli Faraz is doing the rounds for commerce minister.
Addressing a press conference on Thursday, PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry said that the party was holding consultation to finalise next cabinet and announcement to this effect would be made within next three days.