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August 11, 2018

Khattak says he accepted Imran’s desire to join federal govt


August 11, 2018

PESHAWAR: Pervez Khattak said here on Friday that he gave up his wish to become the chief minister after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) head Imran Khan explained to him that he needed his services in the federal government.

“As I had worked hard in the past five years of our government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and initiated a number of projects in the province, I wanted to be appointed the chief minister to complete ?the remaining work on crucial projects,” he told The News on Friday.

He said that since their leader Imran Khan had a different plan for him, he had to agree.

Though he didn’t confirm it yet, PTI ?sources in Banigala, Islamabad, told The News that Pervez Khattak had been proposed by Imran Khan as federal interior minister. “After I surrendered my wish for becoming the chief minister, I didn’t make any demand for any portfolio and will do whatever my leader considered better for me,” he added.

Pervez Khattak denied having played any negative role to stop senior PTI leader Atif Khan from becoming the chief minister. “We don’t have any differences. Why would I create hurdles for Atif Khan or anybody else to become the chief minister? Actually each and every important issue is properly discussed in our party and Imran Khan takes all the decisions in consultation with party leaders,” Pervez Khattak argued.

The insiders in PTI, however, said that a group led by Jehangir Khan Tareen, known as JKT in the party circles, is considered quite strong and influential in the party and Imran Khan always give importance to the ideas and decisions taken by this group. “Pervez Khattak and the proposed chief minister Mehmood Khan both belong to the JKT group. They are the real PTI and there is no way Imran Khan would ever annoy them,” an insider at the party chairman’s Banigala home said.

He said it was Imran Khan who proposed Mehmood Khan as chief minister KP and at this stage Pervez Khattak agreed to shift to the centre to become the federal interior minister. “Imran Khan and other people in the party were aware of Pervez Khattak’s importance and his potential of creating problems for the party. This is the reason they could not annoy him,” said the PTI source on condition of anonymity.

Pervez Khattak, however, denied this piece of information and said he had good ties with all the party people. He vowed to continue ?his struggle for making PTI stronger in the country.

Meanwhile, sources told The News that Imran Khan had talked to Atif Khan and offered him some important positions, including speaker Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly and senior minster in the provincial cabinet. He had asked Atif Khan to continue his efforts for strengthening the party.

?Sources close to Atif Khan said Imran Khan’s decision had hurt him as he believed the PTI chairman would appoint him the chief minister. Efforts were made to seek Atif Khan’s reaction but he could not be reached.

In his native Mardan city, some of Atif Khan’s supporters, including MPAs, had installed huge sized billboards congratulating him for becoming the chief minister. Obviously, these were put up before Mehmood Khan instead of Atif Khan was appointed the chief minister and haven’t been removed yet.

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