PESHAWAR - Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan has given ‘the green light’ to nominate former KP minister for elementary and secondary education Muhammad Atif Khan as 17th chief minister of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, credible sources said on Tuesday.
According to the sources, the decision to nominate Atif Khan as the KP chief minister was taken at a meeting chaired by PTI chief in Bani Gala a few days back. The meeting was also attended by senior leaders Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Jehangir Tareen, Pervez Khattak, Fawad Chaudhry and others.
Apart from Atif, former KP Assembly speaker Asad Qaiser, newly elected MPA Taimur Saleem Jaghara and former chief minister Pervez Khattak were also among the aspirants for the coveted slot.
Khattak and Asad Qaiser also convened a meeting of elected MPAs on Monday which was attended by a large number of Khattak supporters; however, Atif Khan did not show up at the meeting held at the Speaker’s House in Peshawar.
After attending the meeting in Bani Gala and talking to the media, Khattak had said that there were no differences in party ranks over the chief minister nomination and whosoever is picked by Imran would be acceptable to them.
Earlier, reports emerged that former CM was lobbying for Qaiser to be made the KP chief minister but Khattak termed it propaganda.
Atif Khan is among the pioneer members of the PTI and he hails from an industrialist family of the Par Hoti area in Mardan.
Born on May 21, 1972, he passed his matriculation from Nisar Shaheed College Risalpur and intermediate from Cadet College Kohat.
Atif Khan contested his first election on PK-30 Mardan (currently PK-50) in 2013 and won the seat by securing 16,985 votes.
In the recent elections, he contested on the PK-50 seat and secured 25,807 votes. He defeated ANP candidate Haroon Khan and PPP candidate and former federal minister Nawabzada Khawaja Muhammad Khan Hoti in this constituency.
Atif also contested election against the former chief minister and ANP provincial president Ameer Haider Hoti on NA-21; however, Hoti defeated him with a margin of 156 votes.
As the minister for elementary and secondary education in the previous KP government, Atif introduced a number of reforms in the education sector in his five years ministerial term.
He introduced English as a medium of instruction in government schools to bring the syllabus at par with that of private schools and provided all missing facilities in government schools across KP.
After the new syllabus was introduced, thousands of students from different private schools quit their schools and took admission to government schools.
Atif Khan is also the cousin of Shahram Khan Taraki, a fellow PTI politician and former leader of Awami Jamhuri Ittehad Pakistan before it merged with the PTI. Atif is also a close relative of PPP senator Khanzada Khan and ANP leader Haji Naseem-ur-Rehman.
Atif Khan’s grandfather, late Haji Fazl-e-Malak, started tobacco business in the Par Hoti area in Mardan in the 1950s. Malak created his niche among the business community of the province in a very short time. Later on, he extended his business to other provinces.
Atif Khan’s father’s Fazl-e-Khaliq continued his father’s business and further expanded it.
Atif Khan ‘picked’ as next KP CM
NADER BUNERI AND RIAZ KHAN