Imran Khan’s party nominates Umar Ayub Khan as PM candidate

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FILE PHOTO: People walk past a banner with a picture of the former Prime Minister Imran Khan outside the party office of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), a day after the general election, in Lahore, Pakistan, February 9, 2024.

FILE PHOTO: People walk past a banner with a picture of the former Prime Minister Imran Khan outside the party office of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), a day after the general election, in Lahore, Pakistan, February 9, 2024.
| Photo Credit: REUTERS

Jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party on February 15 nominated as its Prime Ministerial candidate the party secretary general Umar Ayub Khan, grandson of former military dictator Ayub Khan.

Umar Ayub Khan, 54, joined Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) before the 2018 general elections after losing the 2013 polls as a candidate of the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) from Haripur in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Due to the fractured mandate with none of the parties getting a clear majority, Pakistan is yet to get a new government. Even when more than 100 independents backed by Khan’s PTI party won the February 8 polls, it has alleged that its mandate was stolen.

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If those troubles were any less, over the last three days, some of the independents have joined the possible coalition to be formed by PTI’s rival parties.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has announced that its President Shehbaz Sharif, 72, will be its Prime Ministerial candidate. The former Prime Minister is supported by the Pakistan Peoples Party and four other smaller parties.

“I am hopeful that Umar Ayub Khan will be elected as Prime Minister,” former PTI speaker Asad Qaiser said while talking to media persons after meeting Khan in the Adiala Jail at Rawalpindi, where he has been lodged since September last year.

Separately, PTI top leader Gohar Khan also confirmed that Umar Ayub Khan was nominated as PM by Imran Khan himself. “We will try our best that our candidate wins,” he said talking to the media.

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Umar Ayub Khan belongs to the Haripur district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and is a grandson of former military dictator Ayub Khan. He won from National Assembly Constituency NA-18 and also served thrice as a member of the National Assembly.

He was elected as a member of the National Assembly for the first time on the ticket of Pakistan Muslim League-Q in 2002 and was the Minister of State for Finance from 2004 to 2007 during the regime of former military dictator Pervez Musharraf.

He was the candidate of Pakistan Muslim League-N from Haripur in the year 2013 but was defeated by a PTI candidate. He alleged rigging and re-voting was held in seven polling stations of this constituency and Umar Ayub Khan won after re-polling.

He joined the PTI before the 2018 general elections and won on the party ticket. Later, he served as Minister for Economic Affairs in the PTI government.

Meanwhile, Gohar Khan also said that the party founder nominated Mian Aslam Iqbal as the candidate for the Chief Minister of Punjab while Salar Saheb was nominated as the Chief Minister candidate for the Balochistan Assembly.

Qaiser further said that his party would join the Parliament and fight a legal battle regarding rigging in the elections because PTI’s mandate was stolen.

Also Read | Imran Khan’s PTI suffers blow as 3 independent provincial assembly members join opponents in Punjab

He also said that Khan tasked him to contact different parties. “I have been given the task of talking to all political parties. Various parties including Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) would be contacted,” Qaiser said.

“Our mandate was stolen in the election, the worst election in the history of Pakistan. In today’s meeting, the political situation was put before the founder of PTI,” he said.

PTI leader Mohammad Ali Saif speaking along with Qaisar said that another PTI leader Aqibullah Khan had been nominated by the party for the speaker of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly.

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