Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Imran Ismail took oath as the 33th Governor of Sindh on Monday. Sindh High Court Chief Justice Ahmed Ali Shaikh administered the oath to Ismail in a ceremony at the Governor House, which was attended by Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, provincial ministers, lawmakers, bureaucrats, diplomats, Karachi corps commander and various political leaders of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and PTI.
Ismail, who had won the provincial assembly seat, PS-111 (Clifton) in the 2018 general elections, resigned his membership from the assembly before taking oath. His resignation was submitted by PTI MPA Khurrum Sher Zaman.
The position of governor had fallen vacant after Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Mohammad Zubair had resigned in protest against what he alleged was massive rigging in the general elections.
Governor Ismail had earlier announced that he would not live in the Governor House but would still use it as his office. Speaking to the media on Monday, Ismail said, “I am not the governor of a particular city or town, but the whole of Sindh is my jurisdiction.”
He added that he would take all political parties and stakeholders onboard to resolve the issues faced by the province. “The water crisis in Sindh is my top priority and I will work with the provincial government to develop the province,” he said.
Addressing media personnel after the ceremony, Khurrum Sher Zaman said that the governor would play a pivotal role in resolving Karachi’s civic issues. Responding to a question regarding by-elections on the seats vacated by Imran Ismail and PTI’s presidential nominee Arif Alvi, he said the party would decide the candidates after the presidential elections.
Earlier, when the PTI had announced the nomination of Ismail for the governor’s slot, a controversy had erupted over his academic qualifications. Many took to social media to criticise the PTI for nominating a candidate who had only completed his intermediate and would become the chancellor of public universities in the province.
According to the assets and liabilities Form-B and affidavit of contesting candidates for the general elections 2018, available on the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) website, Ismail has only completed B Com part-I after his intermediate.
PTI leader and federal information minister Fawad Chaudhry, however, defended Ismail’s nomination and called him a competent person. “If a matriculate could become president of the country, then no one should be bothered about Ismail’s qualifications.”
Farooq Sattar’s media talk
MQM leader Farooq Sattar, referring to the last general election results, said that all efforts had been made to defeat the MQM and elect the PTI in Karachi. Speaking to journalists after the governor’s oath-taking ceremony, Sattar, who lost the national assembly seat to PTI’s Amir Liaquat Hussain said, “We are coalition partners of PTI, but there is no doubt that massive rigging was done to defeat our candidates,” he said, adding that his party would use all legal forums to challenge the results.