Updated March 1st, 2024 at 15:11 IST

PTI-Backed Independent Candidate Ali Amin Gandapur Elected as CM of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Ali Amin Gandapur was elected as the Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Friday.

Reported by: Bhagyasree Sengupta
PTI founder Imran Khan and party leader Ali Amin Gandapur | Image:X - @Jawii8323
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Peshawar – Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Ali Amin Gandapur, who contested the 2024 Pakistani general election as an independent candidate from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, was elected as the province's CM on Friday. Earlier today, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly conducted voting to select the candidate for the position of Chief Minister. According to Pakistani news outlet Geo News, Gandapur was competing for the slot against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidate Dr Ibadullah Khan. 

PTI founder and former Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan was the one who nominated Gandapur as his party's candidate for KP's leader of the house. Khan made the decision as he continued to serve his prison sentence in the Adiala jail. According to Geo News, Gandapur had the support of Sunni Ittehad Council's (SIC) members and his fellow party members who contested this year's elections as independent candidates. Meanwhile, PML-N's Ibadullah has the support of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Parliamentarians (PTI-P). Gandapur served as the former federal minister for Kashmir affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan when PTI's government was at the Center from October 2018 to April 2022. 

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 Gandapur promises to ‘live up' to Imran’s expectations 

Addressing KP lawmakers in his victory speech, Gandapur promised to live up to the expectations of the PTI founder. He went on to speak about his fellow party leaders and stated that the injustices done to the PTI leader had never witnessed under any fascist regime before. "Our leader fought for the nation for 27 years and he rightly used to say that we are not free but slaves and we require real freedom," he lamented, demanding a free and fair trial for Imran Khan and his release from prison. However, the PTI leader insisted that he did not want to take any sort of revenge on the erstwhile ruling regime of Pakistan. "The election symbol was taken from us and we are not even allowed to raise our voice for the people of Kashmir," he said, warning that they know how to snatch their rights. "It is the responsibility of the state to give us our right," he added.

The KP CM went on to point out the February 8 elections and said that the authorities concerned should restore their mandate. "Today the whole nation got to know who the selected one is. These selected come to rule again and again to steal people's money," he added. Gandapur said that 80% of the papers of PTI leaders were rejected by the authorities and were later restored after intervention from the court. 

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Published March 1st, 2024 at 13:10 IST