Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief’s decision to hand-pick Senator Azam Khan Swati as parliamentary leader of the party in the Senate, in place of Senator Noman Wazir Khattak, has stunned many, including some senior party leaders.
According to PTI insiders, the Senator from Mansehra, had not been in good books of Imran Khan for quite a long time.
The entry of Swati with a bang, who was sidelined for quite long and a show-cause notice had also been served on him for allegedly violating the party’s discipline in the elections of tehsil and district nazims in 2015, has surprised many party lawmakers.
But the lady luck smiled at Senator Swati all of a sudden as he was bestowed top slot of the PTI’s parliamentary leader in the Senate, besides being elected as member of the National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
A senior PTI leader, who wished not to be quoted, toldBusiness Recorder that Senator Khattak, who had been doing a wonderful job as parliamentary leader of the party for the last two years, was quite perturbed over the party’s decision.
“I’ve no other option, but to accept the decision, and sit on the back benches,” a senior leader of PTI quoted Senator Khattak as saying after his replacement with Swati. When contacted, Senator Khattak said the decision was taken by the party as he could not give enough time to the Senate as he lives in Peshawar, adding Swati is residing in Islamabad and he will do the job better than him.
Another PTI leader said that nomination of Swati as parliamentary leader in the Senate, although he had violated the party discipline on many occasions, would not be beneficial for the party in the long run.
“We never expected that Khan could hand-pick him [Swati] as parliamentary leader and such discrimination, on the part of Imran Khan, is surprising, rather shocking,” he added.
He said that the party should not have forgotten that “it was this very Azam Swati, who had violated party discipline and formed his own group to elect his nephew as district nazim Mansehra, for which he was issued show-cause notice”.
“Azam Swati is the man, who had campaigned against PTI’s candidates in Mansehra, and despite his past track record, he has been bestowed with two slots and made in charge of the Senate from the PTI’s platform, which is unfortunate,” he opined.