PESHAWAR: Despite its claims to the contrary, the incumbent provincial government is about to set another precedent of hereditary politics in the province after the ruling party’s’ central executive committee decided to grant the brother of a former chief minister a seat on the provincial cabinet.
The oathtaking is expected to take place on Monday (today).
A source within Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has told The Express Tribune that the party leadership has decided to induct former Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) chief minister Pervez Khattak’s brother Liaquat into the provincial cabinet.
Pervez has strained relations with the party’s central leadership over his portfolio of federal defence minister. It is rumoured that Khattak wanted the coveted slot of federal interior minister. But a watered down post was first awarded to the Kohat-based Shaheryar Afridi and now it has been given to Ijaz Ahmad Shah. But with Pervez famous for political engineering in K-P and at the central level in the party, it has been decided to induct his brother into the provincial cabinet, a party source stated.
Liaquat Khattak, who has previously served as the Nazim (mayor) of Nowshera, was elected to the K-P provincial assembly as a PTI candidate from PK-64. The seat had been won by Pervez during the July 2018 elections but was vacated because Pervez had won from two seats.
In his stead, Liaquat won from the seat during by-elections on October 14. He defeated Muhammad Shahid of the Awami National Party (ANP). Liaquat had garnered 22,775 votes while his closest rival had secured 9,560 votes.
It is pertinent to mention that Prime Minister Imran Khan has previously declared that those PTI members would be awarded cabinet seats in K-P or other provinces whose relatives are not part and parcel of the federal cabinet.
Despite that, Liaquat has been awarded a seat in the provincial cabinet.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 29th, 2019.