Can a non-Pashtun lead KP?



The hunt for a suitable person to be appointed as the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) governor has taken a new turn as tribal elders and defence establishment have expressed serious concerns over the reports of appointment of non-Pashtun politician Sardar Mehtab Abbasi as governor of the province.
The KP governor is traditionally a post which plays as a bridge between the tribal elders and the federal government. Moreover, the army establishment has also conveyed their concerns as Abbasi is seen as an anti-army politician.
Sources in the ruling PML-N said that following the reports of Abbasi’s appointment as governor, the tribal elders of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) have conveyed their reservations to the government.
Following these developments, the sources said, the prime minister held a meeting with his close aide Major (r) Amir and offered him the slot which was politely turned down by the former ISI officer.
The sources maintained that being a Pashtun, Amir could be the most suitable choice for the slot as he is respected among tribal elders as well as militants – the major players in FATA. Due to his long affiliation with the Sharifs, he was also arrested soon after General Pervez Musharraf toppled the government in 1999. Amir had also rejected many offers made by former president Asif Zardari.
The sources said that Nawaz Sharif wanted to appoint one of his trusted aides as his representative in KP where the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government was making major gains due to reforms and better services to the people at large.
“It is amazing to note that Sardar Mehtab Khan Abbasi is not a Pashtun. Moreover, since he has also raised slogans for an independent province of Hazara, he is not welcomed among Pashtu speaking people, especially among tribal elders who are all Pashtun. Moreover he is also not entitled to become the governor as the people of his own area had rejected him in recent general elections and rather a newcomer PTI man was elected as MNA,” a source in the ruling party said.
Another source said that it was only Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan who wanted to get Abbasi appointed as the KP governor. Nisar also urged Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to arrange Abbasi’s meeting with the prime minister.
“Finally, Shahbaz Sharif unwillingly arranged meeting with the prime minister. During the meeting, Sardar Mehtab Abbasi expressed his willingness to become the KP governor on pretext that the elders of FATA had turned against the incumbent governor due to corrupt practices and his lack of interest in getting violence ended from FATA,” the source added.
However, the source said, Nawaz told Abbasi that he would take any decision in two weeks.
“But instead of waiting for two weeks, information was leaked to media that the prime minister had decided to appoint Abbasi as the new governor which created unrest and concern among the people of FATA as well as the defence circles,” the source added. Another PML-N leader said that the reluctance shown by Major (r) Amir to accept the slot had left the PML-N government high and dry.
“Due to the efforts of Major Amir, the dialogue process has seen a breakthrough. Moreover, he has been instrumental in making the peace process a success without seeking personal favours which has greatly impressed the prime minister. The reluctance shown by Amir has not only surprised the prime minister but also it has brought both old time friends closer,” the source added.
The sources said that Nawaz was unwilling to appoint Sardar Mehtab Abbasi as governor KP in the recent past. However, this time around, Chaudhry Nisar had made a fresh effort to get him appointed by using the clout of Shahbaz.


  1. What's interesting is there is a quote from a "senior member" but no reference to who it might be. Kinda defeats the purpose you know.

  2. Extended Programme for Immunization (EPI) of Punjab Health Department is going to start another three-day anti-polio campaign from February 24, said EPI Additional Director Dr Nazir Hussain on Saturday.

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