Omar unaware of possibility of Achakzai being named as opposition leader

Achakzai called on Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUIF) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and discussed the current political situation

By Our Correspondent
March 03, 2024
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Secretary General Omar Ayub Khan. — X/GovtofPakistan

ISLAMABAD: The Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC)’s prime ministerial candidate, Omar Ayub Khan, Saturday expressed total ignorance about the possibility of naming Mahmood Khan Achakzai leader of the opposition in the National Assembly in case he lost the presidential poll.


Achakzai has been nominated by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder chairman Imran Khan as the candidate of the party-backed SIC for the presidential election against Pakistan Peoples Party Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, who enjoys the support of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) and other allied parties.

When asked by a reporter that in case Mehmood Achakzai could not win the presidential election, if there was a possibility of making him the opposition leader in the National Assembly, Omar replied, “This will be prime minister Imran Khan’s decision. We are just his soldiers.”

“We don’t know. Imran Khan has to take a decision in this connection,” he tersely replied when again asked if there was any chance of making Achakzai the leader of opposition.

Another journalist asked Omar, while he was talking against the ‘state oppression’ and rigging, and in support of democracy, his grandfather had done the first rigging against Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah and packed up democracy, the PTI senior leader advised the questioner to read the “right” history to know. He told the reporter that his information was completely incorrect.

Meanwhile, Achakzai called on Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUIF) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and discussed the current political situation with special reference to the general elections and presidential poll. The Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) chief sought the support of Maulana’s party, who promised to get back to him after having consultations with the party’s leadership.

Achakzai reminded Maulana Fazl that their relationship was old and, hopefully, he would vote for him in the presidential election, fixed for March 9.

Meanwhile, PTI-backed SIC’s chief whip in the National Assembly Amir Dogar reached out to other political parties for support to Omar Ayub in his election for the PM’s slot. He contacted the JUIF leadership as well as Balochistan National Party-Mengal chief Sardar Akhtar Mengal and urged him to lend support to Omar Ayub.

The BNPM has been the PTI government’s ally for about three years and later withheld support, accusing the-then Imran Khan regime of reneging on commitments made at the time of formation of the government in 2018.