ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Friday announced Senator Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar and MNA-elect Asad Qaiser as party’s nominees for the lucrative slots of governor Punjab and National Assembly speaker, respectively.
Talking to journalists outside the Banigala residence of Imran Khan, PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi, said that Sarwar had served Punjab governor in past whereas Qaiser was previously elected Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly speaker.
Hailing from Swabi district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Qaiser was an educationist prior to entering politics. He started his political career with the Jamaat-e-Islami but teamed up with Khan when he launched his new political party in 1996.
Qaiser worked his way up the party ranks and was made the provincial president in 2008. He became a member of the KP assembly for the first time in 2013.
Back then, he had been reportedly also in the running for the KP chief minister’s job, but the role had been eventually given to Pervez Khattak. Qaiser was then elected the provincial assembly’s speaker — a position he held for the entirety of the previous PTI government in KP.
Senator Chaudhry Sarwar is a former member of British parliament, who swapped his overseas political career to do the same in the country of his birth. Although born and raised in Pakistan, Sarwar moved to Scotland in the 70s and, after a successful business career, joined local politics there. In 1997, he was elected as MP for Glasgow Govan.
In 2013, however, Sarwar left British politics to serve the old country, and joined the PML-N. The same year, following his party’s electoral victory, he was made the governor Punjab. As the governor, Sarwar clashed with his own party’s government and eventually left it to join the PTI. Shah Mahmood Qureshi also announced that on the night of August 13, after the newly elected assembly takes oath, Imran Khan will chair a meeting of all PTI and coalition party MNAs to discuss their combined future strategy.
The PTI has also nominated party representatives that will keep tabs on and coordinate with MNAs from regions designated to them. “Pervez Khattak will look after the KP and Fata region, Arif Alvi will take care of Sindh. Shafqat Mehmood will coordinate with MNAs from central Punjab, Chaudhry Sarwar will coordinate with members from west Punjab, while Amir Kiyani will coordinate with north Punjab and I will take care of the coordination with members from south Punjab,” said Qureshi.
Responding to a question about whether he thought that the NA session was called on August 13 to prevent Khan from taking oath as prime minister on August 14, Qureshi said: “No, we don’t think any such thing happened. We understand that there are legal processes that had to be completed and there were some requirements from the Election Commission of Pakistan that had to be fulfilled before the session could be called.”
He added, “I hope that this whole process will move forward within the legal framework and the president will fulfill his role in the best possible manner.” Meanwhile, in a tweet, the prime minister-designate Imran Khan said: “I want all Pakistanis to celebrate 14th August, our Independence Day, with full fervor - especially as we are now moving towards Naya Pakistan & reclaiming Jinnah’s vision InshaAllah.” In another tweet, he said: “Good news for our national asset, the Overseas Pakistanis - PTI’s struggle for their voting rights’ implementation has been won as SC has decided this must be done and directed ECP to ensure the same through electronic means.”