Nominated CM vows to continue policies of last PTI-led KP govtArchive
ISLAMABAD: Nominated chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan has vowed to continue the policies of the previous PTI-led government in the province with main focus on education and health.
“Earlier, there was the government of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf in the province. We will maintain continuity (in the policies) with focus on health and education. We will make investment in people,” said Mr Mahmood while talking to reporters after his meeting with PTI chairman Imran Khan at the latter’s Banigala residence here on Thursday.
The PTI chief had nominated Mr Mahmood — former provincial minister for sports and a billionaire from Swat — as new KP chief minister on Wednesday, putting an end to two-week-long infighting and lobbying by groups, headed by party heavyweights, including former chief minister Pervez Khattak, over the province’s top slot.
Mr Mahmood claimed that there were no groupings within the party and that he would soon meet Atif Khan — the other contender for the CM office.
“We will work as a team. We are all soldiers of Imran Khan,” he said, refuting reports in some media circles that he was “planted” by a certain group in the party. “I am not a planted man. I am only with the ideology of the PTI and Imran Khan.”
Russian ambassador calls on Imran Khan, discusses bilateral relations
Mr Mahmood said the people of his province had reposed confidence in the party by giving their mandate for the second time, adding that they would work for the betterment of the province.
He also clarified that there were no charges of corruption against him as the provincial sports minister and said that following an inquiry against him for keeping Rs1.8 million in his personal account, two officials of his ministry were sacked. He said the account was not in his personal name, but in the name of the sports minister, adding that Rs1.8m had no value for him as he possessed a large number of commercial properties.
When asked why he had paid only Rs1,250 in taxes despite possessing assets worth over Rs2 billion, he said he had not violated any laws as he lived in a tax-exempted Malakand area. Mr Mahmood said he would form his cabinet in consultation with Imran Khan.
According to his assets declaration submitted with the Election Commission of Pakistan, Mr Mahmood owns 89 kanals of agricultural land and 150 shops in Matta Bazaar worth Rs2.516bn. He also had over Rs40m in two bank accounts and his wife owns 35 tolas of gold.
Russian Ambassador to Pakistan Alexey Dedov called on Imran Khan at the latter’s Banigala residence and felicitated him on his party’s victory in the general election.
A statement issued by the party’s central media department said: “Issues of mutual interest, including Pakistan-Russia relations, bilateral trade, economic cooperation, human rights, terrorism and stability in Afghanistan came under discussion,” it said.
Mr Dedov lauded Pakistan-Russia cooperation in joint military exercises and thanked aviators of the Pakistan Army for successfully rescuing a Russian mountain climber under severe weather conditions.
He stressed the need for having direct transaction communication between the banks of both countries without involvement of a third country.
Imran Khan said he wanted Russian drilling oil and gas companies to come to Pakistan. He said the United States had realised that military solution to the looming crisis in Afghanistan was not going to work. Hence, he added, there was a desire for dialogue. “Now, peace has a chance and Pakistan is ready to help,” Mr Khan said.
Published in Dawn, August 10th, 2018