PESHAWAR - Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) are at loggerheads over the slot of leader of the opposition in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly.
The office fell vacant after Sardar Mehtab Ahmad Khan formally tendered his resignation from the slot after his nomination as governor of the province.
Keeping in view importance of the post, each party is engaged in lobbing for it. Despite internal differences, the PML-N provincial leadership and lawmakers have met Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) provincial president Sikandar Sherpao and others to muster their support.
Moreover, there is also a conflict among the PML-N legislators for becoming the party’s parliamentary leader in the assembly. Mainly, its two members interested in the slot, Wajihuz Zaman and Sardar Aurangzeb Nalotha, are opposing each other.
Sensing the situation, Governor Sardar Mehtab Khan Abbasi met both the lawmakers for reconciliation, but failed to end their differences. Both the legislatures, instead of waiting for the party’s direction in this regard, are giving arguments for their nomination.
With having 17 members in the house of 124, the JUI-F is too much confident to have its opposition leader. It is certain that Maulana Lutfur Rehman, younger brother of Maulana Fazlur Rehman, will be the nominee of the party as the opposition leader. Sources in JUI-F claimed that, in principle, it is their right to have the opposition leader in the KP Assembly.
Earlier, the PML-N had 17 lawmakers, so the slot of the leader of the opposition was given to it. But the appointment of Mehtab Ahmad Khan as the KP governor and disqualification of MPA Qaimoos Khan from Swat reduced its strength to 15. QWP has 10 members while PPP and ANP have five each.
It is believed ANP, PPP and QWP will support JUI-F as they have already entered into electoral alliance for the coming local government polls in the province.