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Saturday, May 18, 2024  
09 Dhul-Qadah 1445  

Azam Khan becomes Khyber Pakhunkhwa’s caretaker chief minister

Notification issued; says will ensure to hold 'free and fair' elections in province
Azam Khan notified as Interim Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa - Breaking - Aaj News

Former bureaucrat Muhammad Azam Khan was sworn in as the caretaker chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Saturday. KP Governor Haji Ghulam Ali would administer the oath of office to Azam in Peshawar.

Earlier in the day, he told Aaj News that the interim setup would ensure to hold a “free and fair” elections in the province.

Earlier, in the day, a notification was issued for Azam’s appointment. It had the signatures of KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan and Leader of the Opposition of outgoing KP Assembly Akram Durrani. The appointment was made under Clause 1(A) of Article 224 (on the dissolution of the assembly on completion of its term, or in case it is dissolved under Article 58 or Article 112, the President, or the Governor, as the case may be, shall appoint a care-taker Cabinet) of the Constitution.

“Everyone is aware of the ongoing economic situation. The economic situation of the country is poor,” Azam said, adding that special attention would be given to the people hit by inflation and the law and order situation.

“We will provide all kinds of assistance to the election commission for transparent elections,” he added.

The development comes after the KP Assembly was dissolved on January 18 after CM Mahmood forwarded a dissolution summary to the governor. It is part of former prime minister Imran Khan’s steps to press the government on holding fresh elections. The coalition government has rejected such an offer time and time again, reiterating: elections will be held on time.

“All four of us wanted to appoint a person who is not controversial,” Durrani said while addressing a press conference in Peshawar on Friday. He was accompanied by Mahmood, Pervez Khattak, and Mushtaq Ghani.

The presser was held to announce that the government and opposition had built a consensus on Azam’s name for the interim chief minister’s post.

“I think this is happening for the first time in the history that opposition leader and chief minister have sat together and made a decision for the interest of the province,” Mahmood said.

He described the development as a “historic moment”. Awais Khayauddin, Sadiq, and Sahibzada Saeed were the three names forwarded by the PTI for the coveted slot while the opposition had suggested two names: Azam Khan and Zafarullah Khan.

Khattak’s acquaintance with Azam and PTI chief Imran Khan’s recommendation on the former democrat’s name led to the final decision of the PTI.

“It is better that public representatives sit together and make the decision as it sends a positive message,” the chief minister said. He was of the view that it would be difficult for the JUI to reach a consensus as they have allies to convince.

If the government and opposition had failed to make any headway on the crucial appointment then the speaker would have sent a summary to the parliamentary committee that needs to decide on the caretaker chief minister in three days.

If the parliamentary committee, too, had failed to reach a consensus, it had landed in the Election Commission of Pakistan. The country’s top electoral authority then names the caretaker chief minister.

This whole process takes nine days if the lawmakers fail to make headway in picking up an interim CM.

When asked if history would repeat itself this time with reservations over the name of the caretaker CM, Mahmood confidently replied that the PTI would not “back out” from it and they supported this decision.

To a query, Durrani challenged all reporters and the people to check the credentials of Azam if it was not appropriate.

Who is Azam Khan?

Azam Khan is not new to the caretaker setup. He was the interim interior minister after the PML-N tenure ended in 2018. He hails from the Charsadda district, 44.6 kilometres from, KP. He has served in many capacities in the provincial government.

The credit for the consensus on the name goes to Pervez Khattak, who ended the “war of words” between the sides, Aaj News Bureau chief Farazana Ali said.

Azam has previously held important positions in the KP government.

Government service

  • Minister for Finance, Planning & Development KPK from October 24, 2007 to April 1, 2008.
  • UNDP Adviser to Lachi Poverty Reduction Project (LPRP) from January 1997 to June 6, 2007
  • National Project Coordinator UNDP, LPRP
  • Chairman of Pakistan Tobacco Board, Ministry of Commerce, Peshawar
  • Secretary for Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Resources, Islamabad
  • Secretary for Ministry of Religious Affairs
  • Chief Secretary for Government of KP from September 1990 to July 1993

Academic qualifications

  • Lincoln’s Inn, London, United Kingdom Barrister-at-Law (1962)
  • Patron: Special education Centre Charsadda

Professional background

  • Member, Institutional Management Committee
  • Member of Steering Committee of International Irrigation Management Institute
  • State Bank of Pakistan: Member of High Powered Commission on Rural Finance
  • Member of National Statistics Council, Government of Pakistan, Islamabad
  • Director, Board of Directors of Rural Support Programme Network
  • Member of South Asia Social Mobilization Network
  • Director, Board Of Directors of Allied Bank of Pakistan
  • President of Senior Alumni Association, Islamia College Peshawar
  • Member Senate, Islamia College, Peshawar (Chartered University)
  • Member, Board of Governors, City University, Peshawar
  • Chairman Board of Director, Centre of Excellence for Rural Development (CERD)
  • Vice President of Children’s SOS Villages of Pakistan, Peshawar
  • Director of Imran Khan Foundation (Flood Relief and Rehabilitation)
  • Member of National Oversight Disaster Management Council Pakistan.
  • Chairman of Supreme Court Flood Commission Enquiry

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Politics Jan 21 2023