Wednesday, January 25, 2023
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Wednesday said that Mohsin Raza Naqvi's appointment as the interim Punjab chief minister will make the polls "controversial" in the province.
Speaking to journalists in Multan, the former foreign minister said that the PTI has serious reservations regarding Naqvi's appointment.
Last Sunday, Naqvi took oath as the caretaker CM amid controversies and disagreements among Punjab’s political stakeholders. His appointment has not been welcomed by the PTI, who decided to "take to the streets" against the decision.
"We accepted the name suggested by the Opposition in KP for the caretaker CM. In Punjab, we tried to suggest a name which is acceptable for the Pakistan Democratic Movement," Qureshi said while regretting that no solution to the matter was found.
He said that his party recorded its protest to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) over the appointment of an interim CM.
"As a political party, we have the right to express our reservations," Qureshi said.
Moving on to PTI's Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry's arrest, Qureshi said that those who believed in the rule of law were surprised today. He said that an FIR was stated to be the reason behind the arrest.
"The truth is that PTI has to be put under pressure," Qureshi said.
He also condemned the appointment of Bilal Siddique Kamyana as the Lahore capital city police officer, saying that an official who tortured PTI workers on May 25 was selected for the post.
Naqvi took oath as the interim chief minister at the Governor House in Lahore on Sunday night. Punjab Governor Baligh Ur Rehman administered oath to the interim chief minister.
Naqvi — a nominee of the opposition — was appointed as the caretaker CM by the Elect. However, PTI categorically rejected by the decision, declaring “Naqvi” as a “controversial” personality.
The electoral authority's decision came after the government and the opposition failed to reach a consensus on finalising the name of a caretaker chief executive — the move appeared to kick off a new round of controversy in the country.
In a declaration, the ECP said that the meeting, chaired by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja, made the consensus decision to appoint Naqvi as the caretaker for Punjab CM.
The Lahore-born Naqvi is a journalist by profession. He got his higher education in the USA and was associated with the American TV channel CNN during his stay in Miami. After returning to Pakistan, he served as the regional head of CNN.
According to a report, Benazir Bhutto, who Mohsin had interviewed before, last contacted him before her assassination.
Mohsin founded the local media City News Network in 2009 at the age of 30 and now owns six news channels and a newspaper. He is also widely known in political circles and has strong relations with leading political figures.