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Pakistan: Imran Khan again nominates Gohar Ali Khan for PPP top post

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Islamabada | February 26, 2024 2:26:54 PM IST
Pakistan''s former Prime Minister Imran Khan, currently incarcerated, has once again thrown the leadership dice for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) by nominating Barrister Gohar Ali Khan for the party''s top post, Dawn reported.

Gohar previously secured the position of PTI chairman with the backing of Imran Khan in the intra-party elections of December 2023.

The election commission had on December 22 barred the PTI from keeping its ''bat'' symbol for the upcoming February 8 election, citing irregularities in their internal polls that did not comply with the party''s own constitution and election laws.

The party has announced fresh polls scheduled for March 3 and initially nominated Barrister Ali Zafar as Imran Khan''s candidate for the chairman post. However, doubts have emerged about Zafar''s acceptance of the chairmanship.

Speaking from outside Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi, Barrister Gohar revealed Zafar''s candidature, but party sources suggest that Zafar may have declined, though it remains unconfirmed whether voluntarily or due to party intervention, as reported by Dawn.

The nomination papers'' submission deadline ended at 3 pm on Sunday, with only Gohar submitting his candidacy for the top post. Omar Ayub Khan, leading a 15-member panel, has submitted nomination papers for the general secretary position. Imran Khan has nominated Yasmin Rashid, currently in prison, for Punjab, Haleem Adil Sheikh for Sindh, Munir Baloch for Balochistan, and Ali Amin Gandapur for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

While victory for Khan-backed candidates appears likely, rival panels have also submitted nomination papers to meet the ECP''s requirements and avoid uncontested elections. Notably, Muhammad Khan Madni and Asad Hanif have submitted papers in Punjab, Khawand Bakhsh Ghulam Muhammad in Sindh, and multiple panels in Balochistan.

Despite the competitive landscape, a senior party official, requesting anonymity, expressed confidence in Gohar''s success, attributing it to the former prime minister''s endorsement.

Unlike the December 2023 elections in Peshawar, this round will take place in Islamabad and all four provincial capitals, allowing over six million party members to cast physical votes. Four provincial commissioners will oversee the polls, with results declared by 8 pm on March 3 and winners notified the following day, Dawn reported. (ANI)

 
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