Pervez Khattak out as Atif Khan emerges as front-runner for CM KP

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is deliberately over the next Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as it is set to form the second consecutive provincial government.

The party held consultative sessions at chairman Imran Khan’s residence in Bani Gala where a large number of party workers and prospective candidates were present.

However, former KP chief minister Pervez Khattak is reportedly out of the race and is unlikely to receive another stint. Former KP Education Minister Atif Khan has emerged as the front-runner for the coveted post.

Khattak won the national assembly seat NA-25 Nowshera by securing a 82,118 votes compared to Khan Pervez of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) who managed a mere 35,658 votes.

Khattak lost one of the two provincial assembly seats in Nowshera. In PK-64 Nowshera-IV, Khattak only managed 15,196 votes, while Tehree-e-Labbaik’s (TLP) Syed Haider Shah won the seat with 16,914 votes. Howeever, he managed to retain PK-61 Nowshera-I bagging 20,647 votes.

The national assembly seat is crucial as Imran Khan is determined to secure the maximum number of seats to be the next prime minister. Therefore, sources suggest that Khattak has been asked to retain the National Assembly seat.

Atif Khan was contesting on two seats including PK-50 and NA-21 Mardan. He secured his PK-50 seat comfortably with 25,807 votes, while Awami National Party’s (ANP) Haroon Khan received 11,739 votes.

However, on the NA-21 seat, ANP’s former chief minister Haider Hoti defeated him by a mere 33 votes. Hoti secured 78,911 votes while Atif managed 78,873 votes. Consequently, Atif is set to be a part of the provincial assembly.

PTI seems to be in position to receive a two-thirds majority. According to unofficial results, the party has a clear lead in KP securing at least 57 seats. The KP assembly has a total 124 seats including 99 general seats, 22 seats reserved for women and three for Non-Muslims.