News Analysis |
The Pakistan Tehrek-e-Insaf (PTI), despite, being the forerunner in Punjab has yet to announce the candidate for the coveted Chief Ministerial position of biggest and the most influential province of the country. Media has long been speculating over the position of CM Punjab. After PTI’s marathon effort-especially from disqualified Jahangir Tareen to rake in independent candidates from Punjab, the party is in commanding position to defeat PML-N in the number game.
But, for some unknown reasons, the party is yet to decide for the position. PTI’s decision to appoint Mehmood Khan amid the uproar and unrest in the party’s KP chapter reveals the apparent possibility of the divide among the groups of the party over the position. Consequently, Imran opted for a neutral candidate to avoid any backlash. Imran faced a barrage of criticism for not sticking to his favorite Atif Khan.
It is an open secret that Khan made it clear to the number of top PTI leaders who were considered favorite by the media that he will opt for a young candidate on merit. Earlier, PTI Central Punjab President Abdul Aleem Khan
Since, Khan was looking for a young man to lead the province, following his announcement in Punjab during the meeting of the newly-elected PTI members of the Punjab Assembly, which lead most to believe, that much-lauded, Atif Khan will be his ultimate choice. But, it did not turn out this way.
The number of media outlets ran the tickers, and episodes discussing their possible nominees. It is an open secret that Khan made it clear to the number of top PTI leaders who were considered favorite by the media that he will opt for a young candidate on merit. Earlier, PTI Central Punjab President Abdul Aleem Khan, Dr. Yasmin Rashid, former Punjab Assembly opposition leader Mian Mahmoodur Rasheed, PTI Information Secretary Fawad Chaudhry and Mian Aslam Iqbal came under scanner for the top post.
Aleem Khan has always been the leading candidate for the post. But, his inability, thus far, to get himself clear from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) became the biggest obstacle in his way to reach the summit. He, nevertheless, made a number of efforts to present a soft image in front of media, but NAB officials seem unsatisfied over his reply to the anti-graft watchdog.
Shah Mehmood Qureshi could have been an ultimate choice, had he not lost the provincial elections in Multan. But, Khan was willing to appoint him as a foreign minister for the second time after the stint with PPP. Qureshi took oath as MNA today in National Assembly, which means that he is more likely to become the part of the federal cabinet.
PTI’s decision to appoint Mehmood Khan amid the uproar and unrest in the party’s KP chapter reveals the apparent possibility of the divide among the groups of the party over the position.
Likewise, PTI’s spokesperson Fawad Chaudhary also took oath today, and he is also out of the race for CM He, however, said yesterday that PTI will announce the name for the slot of Punjab CM within next 48 hours. Since Khan’s much-publicized ‘Naya Pakistan’ will start from Punjab, therefore, it has become extremely important to put forward a refined and clean leader who can take all the stakeholders together.
Recently, the reports had emerged in the media that Imran is contemplating name of Bahadur Dreshak and Hashim Hamid for the slot of Punjab CM. However, PTI’s top tier leadership has shown serious reservation over these name as they have joined the party a couple of months ago.
Read more: PML-Q decides to back PTI in Punjab
Senior leadership is considering the name of loyal aide for Punjab’s highest position. Speculations have been rife in the media that the name of Raja Yasir Humayun Sarfraz is finalized for the top slot, but, Fawad denied these media claims. Moreover, Lahore’s Mian Aslam Iqbal also remain favorite take the position. But, the possibility still remains that a little-known candidate may succeed considering that party is yet to have consensus over the issue.
It proves that Imran is no dictator and all the decisions in the party are taking place after consultation with parliamentary core committee. But, it also reflects that Khan may have to compromise due to lack of consensus in the party. So far Imran has succeeded in keeping the name of his nominee close to his chest as the suspense surrounding the top slot in Punjab continues.