KP Assembly elects PTI’s Mehmood Khan as new chief minister

KP Assembly elects PTI’s Mehmood Khan as new chief minister
A view of the KP Assembly session on Thursday. (AN photo)
Updated 16 August 2018

KP Assembly elects PTI’s Mehmood Khan as new chief minister

KP Assembly elects PTI’s Mehmood Khan as new chief minister
  • The Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf candidate Mehmood Khan received 77 votes against the 33 bagged by his opponent Mian Nisar Gul
  • The newly elected speaker of KP Assembly, Mushtaq Ghani, announced Khan’s victory for the top office after a vote count

PESHAWAR: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) nominee Mehmood Khan was elected as the new chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) during the assembly session on Thursday.
Mehmood Khan received 77 votes against the opposition candidate Mian Nisar Gul who bagged 33 votes.
For the polling, the PTI-affiliated members of the assembly went to lobby number 2 and the opposition lawmakers went to lobby number 1 in the assembly hall where all the members were counted.
Amjad Afridi, a dissident lawmaker of PTI, voted for opposition’s Mian Nisar Gul.
The newly elected speaker of KP Assembly, Mushtaq Ghani, announced Khan’s victory for the top office after a vote count.
Mehmood Khan has been elected as chief minister for a term of five years and will take the oath of office on Friday.
Several lawmakers spoke on the occasion. The opposition’s Akram Khan Durrani, who is also the former chief minister of KP, reiterated opposition parties’ cry of “worst rigging in the elections.”
Durrani questioned the failure of Results Transmission System (RTS) to deliver the results directly from the polling station.
In his speech, the newly elected chief minister said that the PTI provincial government would try to complete the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) projects in Peshawar and Swat Expressway on priority.
“We also have government in the center. Hopefully, we will be better able to serve the people this time and would work in all sectors including health, education and other social sectors,” said Khan.
The chief minister said his government would fight corruption and focus on generating employment.
Brief profile
Mehmood Khan is the first chief minister ever elected from the underdeveloped and hilly Malakand Division. He was elected to the provincial assembly from PK-9, Swat district.
Khan was born in Swat in 1972. He completed his initial education in Khwazakhela area of Swat and later moved to Peshawar. He received a masters degree in agriculture from the University of Peshawar.
He was elected as union council nazim in the 2008 local government elections as an independent candidate. 
Although his family was always associated with the Pakistan Peoples’ Party, Mahmood joined the PTI in 2012 and rose to the office of PTI president of Malakand division.
He served as minister for agriculture from 2013 to 2015 and minister for sports, culture and tourism from 2015 to 2018.
The newly elected KP government is confronted with serious security and economic challenges, according to Brig Saad Muhammad, a senior analyst. He said reaching out to politically inaccessible areas of erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in the wake of KP-FATA merger, equipping and capacity building of Levies force of the tribal districts, and controlling cross border infiltration of militants will need urgent attention of the new KP government.
Prof Dr. Mohammad Taieb, head of the Social Anthropology Department at University of Peshawar, says the fact that PTI has a government in the center as well is likely to help the provincial government in KP.
However, he said the new government should work on three major issues to serve the public in its true sense.
“They should work to provide education and health facilities and control inflation for the public to feel immediate relief.”