ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan was formally nominated as his party’s candidate for prime minister on Monday.
Imran was nominated as PTI candidate for the post during the party’s parliamentary committee meeting at a private hotel in Islamabad.
As the meeting started, Shah Mehmood Qureshi presented a resolution nominating Imran as their premier candidate. The resolution was accepted unanimously by party leaders who also congratulated Imran after the nomination.
The PTI chief is currently giving a speech recalling the party’s history, his struggles and achievements, including the 1992 World Cup victory, and is laying out future plans.
“My focus was not to become an MNA or a prime minister,” Imran said during his address.
“The issues over which the nation voted us into power need to be addressed on priority,” he further said.
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.
The committee is also expected to nominate leaders on key posts.
“PTI will announce senior party leader Qureshi as their candidate for the post of National Assembly speaker,” sources told Geo News.
“Qureshi is not happy with the decision but Imran convinced him to take the post owing to his experience as a parliamentarian which puts him in a position to deal with the active opposition,” sources said.
Further sources said that Zartaj Gul and Shaheryar Afridi’s names are under consideration for the post of NA deputy speaker.
Speaking to the media as he arrived for the meeting, former Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister Pervez Khattak said, “Will fulfill any responsibility that Khan Sb gives me.”
“Earlier, Khan Sb had given me the responsibility of KP CM and this too he will decide my post,” he added.
Refuting reports of rifts within the party, Khattak said, “There are no differences between us.”
Earlier, in a message on Twitter, party leader Naeemul Haque said Imran will meet all NA members of the party today, followed by PTI’s members from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab assemblies on the following two days.
He added that the party chief will “outline his plans for legislative and political programs of his government”.
Haque claimed further that Imran plans to bring the best talent to government services and programmes.
A day earlier, PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry said the party is in the clear to form the government in the centre.
“PTI’s seat tally in the National Assembly currently stands at 125 after the inclusion of independents,” he said.
Allies and reserved seats will take the PTI tally to 174 seats in NA, he added.
Further after the support of Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M), the party will have 177 seats, Chaudhry said.
The PTI spokesperson further claimed that the party has a majority in Punjab as well. “We now have 186 seats in the Punjab Assembly,” he said.
PTI had emerged in the lead with 116 NA seats during the July 25 polls.
A day after the elections, Imran had in a speech laid out his domestic and foreign policy.
The cricketer-turned-politician has also reportedly sent out invitations for his oath-taking ceremony as the 22nd prime minister of Pakistan.
However, the political parties aligned against PTI have announced that they are fielding their own candidate for prime minister in Parliament.
The parties, including the PML-N, PPP, MMA, and ANP, have decided to field their own consensus candidates for the prime minister, speaker and deputy speaker slots in the National Assembly.