ISLAMABAD - KP chief minister-designate Mahmood Khan Thursday said that he was the choice of PTI chief Imran Khan, refuting media reports that he has been recommended for the slot by someone else.

After holding his first meeting since his nomination as CM KP on Wednesday with Imran Khan, Mahmood told reporters at Bani Gala it was wrong to say that he had been “planted” by someone else. “I am the choice of the party chief and he has planted me,” he said. He added he only stood by the ideology of PTI and the party chief.

Mahmood, who was accompanied by PTI Secretary Information Fawad Chaudhry, said that PTI chairman had given him go-ahead and had promised to help him completely. Explaining the priorities of his government, he said he would continue with the policies of previous PTI-led government in KP in health and education sectors. “We will focus and invest in masses,” he said.

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About allegations of corruption against him when he was the provincial sports minister in the last government, he said why he would embezzle such a low amount to face allegations when he was inherited large assets.

He said PTI had formed the last government in KP for the first time and this happened because of some inexperience. “I had announced some Rs1.8 million as cash prize for different sports tournaments as a minister and then director general sports had deposited the same amount in an account opened with the name of Minister’s Account,” he said. He said he had returned the money and then DG and secretary sports ministry had been suspended after an inquiry. “I have delivered in sports department,” he said, adding that he would also deliver as the CM.

To a question that he owned assets of worth Rs2.50 billion but he gave only Rs1250 as tax, he said that Malakand Division from where he belonged was a tax-free zone and this is the reason that he did not pay tax in huge amount. About those rejected for the slot of CM, he said that he would meet Atif Khan, one of the strong contenders of this slot, soon and they would work jointly. About formation of cabinet, he said Imran Khan had given him a go-ahead in this regard and he would finalise the cabinet in consultations with the party chief.