Ex-bureaucrat Azam Khan sworn in caretaker chief minister of Pakistan’s KP province - GulfToday

Ex-bureaucrat Azam Khan sworn in caretaker chief minister of Pakistan’s KP province


Haji Ghalum Ali (L) administers the oath to Azam Khan at Governor House in Peshawar on Saturday.

Tariq Butt, Correspondent / NNI News

Former bureaucrat Mohammad Azam Khan took oath as the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) caretaker chief minister in a ceremony held in Governor House in Peshawar on Saturday.

KP Governor Haji Ghulam Ali administered the oath to Azam at a simple but impressive ceremony, whose name for the provincial caretaker role was finalised after consultation between outgoing chief minister Mahmood Khan and leader of the opposition Akram Khan Durrani belonging to the Jamiate Ulemae Islam-Fazl (JUI-F).

Earlier during the day, Governor Haji Ghulam Ali appointed the consensus choice of ruling and opposition parties, and signed the notification for appointing Azam as caretaker chief minister.

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The order to this effect reads: “I, HAJI GHULAM ALI, the Governor, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, hereby appoint Mr M. Azam Khan, as the Caretaker Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, in terms of Clause (IA) of the Article 224 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan 1973.”

Talking to reporters after the appointment, Azam vowed to extend “complete cooperation” to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for holding “free and fair elections” in the province. He said that efforts would be made to further strengthen the security situation in KP and control inflation in the province.

Despite their tussle, Mahmood Khan of the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) and Akram Durrani belonging to JUI-F have agreed on Azam Khan as the next caretaker chief minister during a meeting on Friday.

Mahmood-AkramDurrani Mahmood Khan (L) and Akram Khan Durrani gesture after the meeting in Peshawar.

Azam Khan (who is not the former principal secretary to ex-Prime Minister Imran Khan) is a former bureaucrat. He has been officially notified as the caretaker chief minister. A letter addressed to KP Governor Haji Ghulam Ali and signed by Mahmood Khan and Akram Durrani stated that they have agreed to nominate Azam Khan after consultations.

The letter asked the governor to proceed with appointing Azam Khan as the caretaker chief minister. After the conclusion of a meeting between the two sides, Durrani told reporters that two names each were proposed by him and the PTI.

Mahmood Khan said both parties agreed on and finalised Azam Khan for the role from five nominees under consideration. Durrani said PTI leader Parvez Khattak played an important role in the meeting.

“There is a serious problem of insecurity and inflation in the province. We will not push the nation towards further despair,” he said.

The KP Assembly stood dissolved on Wednesday after the governor signed and approved the chief minister’s summary for the dissolution of the provincial legislature. The development also comes days after the dissolution of the Punjab Assembly. However, a caretaker chief minister has not yet been appointed due to the deadlock between the government and the opposition.

Meanwhile, in Punjab after a parliamentary committee constituted by the Punjab Assembly speaker failed to build a consensus on a candidate for the slot of the caretaker chief minister, the matter landed in ECP for arbitration.

The ECP meets on Sunday to nominate the caretaker chief minister from the four recommended by the two sides. The six-member committee with equal representation from the treasury and the opposition had only one day to deliberate upon the nominations made by outgoing chief minister Parvez Elahi and opposition leader Hamza Shehbaz.

Azam Khan was educated at the University of Peshawar, following which he went to Lincoln’s Inn, London, to complete his Barrister-at-Law degree in 1962.  Azam Khan has had a long and bright career as a civil servant in the government of Pakistan.

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