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August 31, 2018

Shah Farman says will live in Governor’s House but will reduce expenses


August 31, 2018

PESHAWAR: Governor-in-waiting Shah Farman was not an ordinary member in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Thursday as he was provided a seat in the first row where the provincial ministers were seated.

At the same time, former provincial minister Mian Jamsheduddin Kakakhel, the right-hand man of ex-chief minister Pervez Khattak, attended the provincial assembly as an ordinary MPA. He was sitting just behind Shah Farman on the treasury benches. He hasn’t been inducted in the cabinet and is obviously unhappy.

Elected on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) ticket from rural Peshawar for second consecutive time, Shah Farman, 67, had served in the last PTI-led government as Minister for Information and Public Health Engineering. He has now been nominated as governor of the province.

In the 2018 general elections, he was declared winner from two provincial assembly constituencies, PK-70 and PK-71 in Peshawar district, but later he lost one of his seats to Awami National Party candidate Khushdil Khan by a narrow margin in the recounting.

Shah Farman was supposed to take oath as governor last week but the decision was delayed most probably to let him cast his vote in the presidential election as an MPA.

“I am indebted to my party leadership for nominating me as governor and sooner or later I will be governor of the province,” he told this scribe when asked why his oath-taking ceremony was delayed.

He admitted that he would cast his vote in the presidential election scheduled for September 4 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly. The PTI leadership does not want to lose a single vote in the presidential election and it had asked Shah Farman to play his role in the said election. But constitutional experts say that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Speaker Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani being the acting governor might not cast his vote in the presidential election.

After his nomination as governor, Shah Farman had told the media that he would not live in the sprawling Governor’s House in Peshawar. Rather, he said he would prefer to live in a quarter or annexe of the Governor’s House.

“It doesn’t matter whether I live inside or outside the Governor’ House, but I will reduce the expenses and royal living as governor of the province,” he said in reply to a question about his pledge to live outside the Governor’s House.

Another PTI MPA who was a provincial minister in the previous assembly is Jamsheduddin Kakakhel belonging to Nowshera.

Retaining his provincial assembly seat, Jamsheduddin Kakakhel was Minster for Excise and Taxation in the Pervez Khattak-led cabinet but this time he would sit as an ordinary MPA on treasury benches.

None of the PTI MPAs from Nowshera has been accommodated in the new provincial cabinet and it is believed that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa cabinet would be expanded after the by-polls to be held on October 14.

Former chief minister Pervez Khattak had secured one National Assembly and two provincial assembly seats from Nowshera in the 2018 election. After vacating his two provincial seats, he has nominated his son Ibrahim Khattak and his brother Liaqat Khattak for contesting the by-elections on the PTI ticket. If elected in the by-polls, his brother or son is most likely to be inducted in the provincial cabinet.

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