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LAHORE: After the resignation of Shafqat Mahmood as party head for Punjab, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) divided Punjab into three regions and appointed new presidents.

As per the notification issued by PTI here on Saturday, Aamir Mehmood Kiani has been appointed as the president of PTI North Punjab, former Punjab health minister Dr Yasmeen Rsahid as president of PTI Central Punjab and Aon Abbas Buppi as president of PTI South Punjab. Moreover, former federal energy minister Hammad Azhar was appointed as general secretary of the PTI Central Punjab.

“In order to provide greater focus on the ongoing public mobilisation and to prepare the party in Punjab for the upcoming elections, the Chairman has directed that Punjab be divided into three regions,” the notification stated.

Meanwhile, former federal education minister Shafqat Mahmood resigned from the post over ‘health-related’ issues. However, circles in the party say that after the failure of a PTI long march to Islamabad, Shafqat Mahmood was under constant criticism for failing to mobilise people in Punjab.

PTI Chairman Imran Khan himself was annoyed over the performance of the PTI Punjab and thus sent PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi to Punjab to handle the party affairs.

Shafqat Mahmood, a former senator in the PPP era in the mid-90s, got elected as an MNA in 2013 and 2018 on a PTI ticket and he was appointed as the PTI Punjab President in December 2021 to galvanise the party workers for the local bodies’ elections. However, after the events leading up to the long march, the party started to question his leadership and his connectivity with party workers and party office bearers.

After the PTI’s long march, the former PTI Punjab President fell ill; he was hospitalised and underwent surgery. Subsequently, on June 3, he resigned from the post after citing health reasons. In a statement, the former federal minister said, “It was an honour and privilege to serve as President PTI Punjab and I thank Chairman Imran Khan for the opportunity. It is time for change due to my surgery and convalescence. I congratulate the new Presidents and will serve the party in whatever capacity assigned.”

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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