Imran Khan Names Barrister Gohar Ali Khan as ‘Caretaker’ Chairman Ahead of Intra-party Polls

Wed Nov 29 2023
icon-facebook icon-twitter icon-whatsapp

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan has named Barrister Gohar Ali Khan as his successor and ‘caretaker’ chairman under a ‘temporary arrangement’ in a move apparently to avoid potential legal hitches in retaining ‘Bat’ as the party symbol ahead of the general elections.

Addressing the media at the parliament house on Wednesday, Senator Ali Zafar said that the party is going to hold intra-party elections on December 2 (Saturday). He said keeping in the view the legal challenges Imran Khan is facing at the moment, the former prime minister has decided to take back seat when it comes to being the party head.

Zafar said under a ‘temporary arrangement’, Imran Khan has nominated Barrister Gohar Ali Khan as the ‘caretaker’ party chairman until the time he returns back as head of the party.

The party was seen mired in a fresh controversy on Tuesday after it denied a statement by one of its senior leaders, who claimed that Imran Khan would not contest the upcoming intra-party polls for the slot of party chairman and that he had picked someone to contest in his position.

While the party statement did not openly name newly-installed Senior Vice President Sher Afzal Khan Marwat, it was clear that the clarification through its official social media account was aimed at remarks made by him earlier in the day.

Speaking to reporters outside Adiala Jail on Tuesday after a meeting with Imran Khan, Marwat had stated that the PTI chairman had decided not to contest the intra-party polls due to legal constraints and his disqualification in the Toshakhana case. However, he also made it clear that the decision could be reversed as soon as his disqualification was set aside.

But just hours later, the PTI’s media wing issued a statement “strongly denying” speculations in the media over the issue. It also denied the claims by a ‘senior party leader’ about Imran Khan not running for the post of chairman in intra-party elections.

“Discussions are ongoing on all important issues regarding the holding of intra-party elections,” the PTI statement said, adding that no decision had been made yet with regards to Imran Khan withdrawing from the election for party chairman or nominating another leader in his place.

The party said that as soon as the leadership reached a conclusion on when to hold intra-party elections, the date and the selection of candidates, the details would be released to the media.

icon-facebook icon-twitter icon-whatsapp