PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province is yet to get a governor eight months after the resignation of Shah Farman as KP Assembly Speaker Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani continues to serve as acting governor.
Following a no-confidence motion against former prime minister Imran Khan on April 10, Shah Farman, one of the founding members of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), formally tendered his resignation on April 11, 2022 and sent it to President Arif Alvi.
Since then Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Speaker Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani has been serving as acting governor as per constitutional requirement but with limited authority.
For the last about eight months, the coalition partners of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) failed to reach consensus over the appointment of governor of the province, having strategic importance.
Despite the fact, the KP governorship has lost the charm, lucrativeness and funds after the merger of erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) into the province, but being a constitutional post its importance for dealing with issues between the province and centre cannot be taken for granted.
In the early days of PDM coalition government in the centre different names were tipped as nominees including Mian Iftikhar Hussain of the Awami National Party (ANP, Maulana Attaul Haq Darwish, Haji Ghulam Ali and Engr Ziaur Rahman of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUIF).
There were also reports of Pakistan People’s Party’s claim to retain the office, however, later the ANP decided not to become part of the federal setup so it did not accept the governorship thus paving the way for JUIF to get the slot.
Though reports have been circulating in the media for the last more than a month that Haji Ghulam Ali could become the governor, notification of his appointment has not been issued.
There are rumours that a rich man from Khyber district was making efforts to get the otherwise lucrative slot by convincing the JUIF top leadership. Apparently, the matter seems pending due to the JUIF’s confusion to make a decision.
The delay in appointment of a permanent governor has been hitting hard the affairs besides creating problems for the federal government in its issues with the provincial setup at a time when the PTI has launched a long march against the federal government. The PDM leadership has been accusing the provincial government of utilizing official machinery for the protest.
On the one hand, Chief Minister Mahmood Khan and other leaders are accusing the federal government of trying to impose the governor’s rule but on the other hand, the PDM’s coalition has so far failed to install its own governor let alone making the difficult decision of declaring the governor’s rule in the province.