Gandapur rules out stealing Fazl's mandate, says JUI-F chief was defeated

KP chief minister says Fazl has been deceived by those whom he has always trusted, struck deals with

Mushtaq Yusufzai
KP Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur addresses an event. — Facebook/Ali Amin Khan Gandapur/File
  • CM underscores Fazl's contradictory statement on Imran's ouster.
  • Maulana deceived by those he has always struck deals with, he says. 
  • Chief minister rules out deal for Imran Khan's release from prison.

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Ali Amin Khan Gandapur has ruled out stealing Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rahman’s mandate saying that the latter was in fact defeated in the February 8 polls, The News reported on Thursday.

Speaking to the journalists at an event organised to mark Labour Day, Gandapur said: "Nobody has stolen his mandate as I have defeated him in the elections. He has rather been deceived by those whom Maulana sahib had always trusted and struck deals with."

KP chief minister's remarks come as both parties, traditional arch-rivals in the political arena, have been engaged in talks owing to their common reservations on the transparency of the general elections.

Despite Fazl's allegations that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-backed independent candidates won the majority of seats in Punjab and KP via "managed rigging", both sides have "agreed on increasing party-level contacts" and have already announced launching their separate countrywide protest movements against poll rigging.

On Monday, the JUI-F chief, while addressing the party's office bearers, reaffirmed his resolve to stage massive protests along with the struggle outside parliament against the rigged elections.

The same day, the veteran politician, in a scathing speech in the National Assembly, backed Pakistan PTI leader Asad Qaiser’s demand for granting the right to the latter’s party to organise public gatherings, terming it the Imran-founded party’s "constitutional right".

Continuing on his tirade against Fazl, Gandapur, who has defeated the JUI-F chief in the elections multiple times, underscored the difference between mandate theft and deceit.

"Since Maulana sahib has been a man of deals, he might have struck one with them again this time to win the elections. Now the question is if they had helped other people to win the elections through Form-47, then why didn't they help Maulana sahib," the chief minister said.

"He [Fazl] has become quite old and must tell the truth to the nation that he had been holding for a long time. We will welcome Maulana and appreciate his contribution if he has started telling the truth,” the chief minister stated," he added.

Gandapur further highlighted the contradiction in Fazl's statements, saying he until now would take credit for toppling Imran Khan’s government but then changed his position, claiming that Imran Khan's government was brought down by the then army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

"[Imran] Khan has never struck any deal and let me tell you once again that he will never strike one with anyone to seek his release from prison," he told the journalists.

CM Gandapur, however, said that if Khan decided to negotiate with the government, then he would do it for the country and the people of Pakistan and added that the talks would not be kept secret.