PTI changes tack over opposition leader move

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s efforts to clinch the office of the opposition leader in the National Assembly suffered a setback on Wednesday after differences emerged within the PTI over the nomination of Shah Mehmood Qureshi for the key parliamentary slot and the Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q) refused to support such a move.

Following a meeting chaired by Imran Khan on Wednesday, the party also took a new position, stating that they had yet to nominate a candidate for the office. This is a clear deviation from their stance last week, when the party had formally started canvassing to replace Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) Syed Khur­sheed Shah with Mr Qureshi.

Sources said there was a group within the PTI that wanted to see Mr Khan as leader of the opposition instead of Mr Qureshi.

A PTI insider claimed that the issue did not come under discussion in Wednesday’s meeting, due to the absence of Mr Qureshi and PTI secretary general Jahangir Tareen. However, the source confirmed that it was suggested during a recently-held meeting of the PTI’s parliamentary party that Mr Khan should become opposition leader.

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