Search for Chief Ministers’

GIVEN the number of independents visiting Bani Gala to join Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf, the party appears to be all set to form governments not only in the Centre and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but also in the country’s most populous province of Punjab where a nail biting election contest was witnessed between the PML (N) and the PTI. Regarding the PM’s slot there is no ambiguity that the PTI Chairman Imran Khan, who led an intense and hectic election campaign, himself will assume the top seat in order to translate what he has envisioned for the country. As for the provinces and especially Punjab, Khan will also have to make right choices after due deliberations within the party as without the support of provincial chief executives he will not be able to implement his agenda and election manifesto.
PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi could have been considered a potential candidate for CM Punjab, but he lost the provincial assembly seat. As the option is wide open with no clear candidate yet, various quarters have initiated campaigns to pitch certain candidates for the coveted slot. According to a campaign running on an online political forum, Dr Yasmin Rashid should be considered as a potential candidate for Punjab chief minister, as she proved herself a strong worker in her three elections in the ancestral constituency of the Sharif family. Dr Yasmin also served as PTI Punjab’s general secretary. Then Aleem Khan, Fawad Chaudhary and Mian Aslam Iqbal have also been seen projecting themselves as potential candidates for the slot. Certainly, Khan will be looking for a person who has the capacity and capability to deliver on the promises made in the general elections. Regardless of what PTI and other opponents say about former Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, the fact of the matter is that he changed vast landscape of the province over the last ten years by carrying out development work especially improving road infrastructure and transport sector. This is the reason that he earned praise not only in the country but also abroad.
Thus, the PTI needs a person who has the capability and vision to bring real improvement in the social sector especially in the health and education. In our view and one won’t be surprise if the PTI fields Dr Yasmin Rashid for the coveted seat as she enjoys a good reputation in political circles and has proved to be a committed and tireless party worker. Though she lost last three elections against PML (N) heavyweights yet one cannot ignore the way she carried out her campaign vigorously and tirelessly. As also pointed out by Imran Khan, Yasmin is now a favourite figure across Pakistan. Then one is also fully aware of her welfare work in the health sector. She indeed has the requisite energy to bring the change that Imran wants to see in Punjab. In fact her installation as the Punjab Chief Minister will also send a positive message abroad as she will become the first woman to lead any province.
Similarly, the choice for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister should also be on merit and above any political expediency. This is the first time in history that the people of this province have reposed confidence for the second consecutive time on a party and we expect that the PTI will not disappoint them with their performance. Credit definitely goes to the last PTI government for bringing improvements in health and education sectors besides bringing reforms in police but there were a lot of other areas that the PTI government could do far better to bring a visible change in living standard of the people. Some analysts also say that it was not performance but charisma of Imran Khan that led the party win elections in KP. So it is time for the PTI to hand over the reign of this province to a dedicated and industrious person as at the end of second term in office, the party will not be able to complain that they were not given sufficient time to serve the masses. In fact the top party leadership itself is on record for censuring the PPP and PML (N) for failing to deliver despite serving multiple terms in office. So failure to deliver on promises is now not an option for the PTI.

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