–PTI chief urges party leaders to ‘save nation’s money for public welfare’
–Dr Arif Alvi and Shah Mahmood Qureshi top contenders for NA speaker’s slot
–Imran Ismail, Naeemul Haque being considered for Sindh governor
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Monday was formally nominated as the party’s candidate for prime minister’s office.
The nomination moved by Shah Mahmood Qureshi was unanimously approved by the party’s parliamentary committee during a moot at a local hotel.
Once Khan’s nomination for the PM’s role was official, all the parliamentary committee members congratulated the party chief.
“Today, I have been given the biggest of responsibilities,” the PM-in-waiting said while addressing his party’s MNAs-elect and senior leaders. “Today, the first phase of a 22-year-long struggle is complete. Today, God has given you a moral victory.”
“After 1970, this is the first time that the masses have defeated the political elite. This happens very rarely that in a two-party system a third one gets a chance,” he added.
‘LEAD BY EXAMPLE’:
Khan warned his fellow party leaders that they must not govern the traditional way.
“There are challenges aplenty for the PTI government,” he said. “The people do not expect us to govern the traditional way; we are viewed as different. If we do traditional politics then we would also fall prey to the public wrath.”
Khan vowed to “lead by example”, saying: “I will make the decision on merit and in the national interest, and will never ask you to do something that I wouldn’t myself.”
The PTI chief recalled the party’s history, his own struggles and achievements, including the 1992 World Cup victory, and laid out future plans.
“My focus was not to become an MNA or the prime minister,” Imran said. “The issues over which the nation voted us into power need to be addressed on priority,” he contended further.
Imran continued, “The country is in an economic crisis and we need to steer it out of it.” “We will approach overseas Pakistanis for repayment of debts,” he added.
Further, the PTI chief said, “I was given official protocol [while coming here today] — the country cannot be run like this.”
“If we cannot bring change then we will suffer the same fate as MMA and ANP, he asserted, referring to the poor electoral show of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal and Awami National Party,” the PTI chief concluded.
Imran also urged party leaders to “save the money of the nation so it can be spent on public welfare.”
He vowed, “I will take decisions based on merit and for the betterment of the people.”
At the conclusion of the committee, PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi delivered a media talk.
“The party at whom people used to laugh has today become the largest parliamentary party,” Qureshi said.”We now have the required majority to form our government in the Centre.”
Qureshi’s views were echoed by party spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry, who claimed that the PTI now has “the backing of 174 candidates in NA”.
According to PTI leader Dr Arif Alvi, the final decision on cabinet members and other offices will be taken by Imran Khan himself.
According to reports, Dr Alvi is the leading candidate for National Assembly speaker, while Qureshi is reportedly also in the running for the office.
Zartaj Gul and Sheheryar Afridi’s names are under consideration for the post of NA deputy speaker.
Meanwhile, Imran Ismail and Naeemul Haque are reportedly in the running for the slot of governor Sindh.
It was reported that former Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister Pervez Khattak is ready to fulfill any responsibility given by Imran Khan.
Refuting reports of rifts within the party, Khattak said, “There are no differences between us.”