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Pakistan: Imran Khan's party declares Omar Ayub as leader of opposition in National Assembly

Omar is the grandson of Pakistan's first military ruler Ayub Khan and was named as Imran Khan's PTI candidate for PM against Shehbaz Sharif. Unlike other PTI-backed independents, Omar did not join the Sunni Ittehad Council to contest internal elections and became PTI's secretary general.

Aveek Banerjee Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Islamabad Published on: April 02, 2024 18:33 IST
Pakistan, PTI, Omar Ayub, Leader of opposition
Image Source : OMAR AYUB (X) PTI secretary general Omar Ayub (in centre) became the Leader of the Opposition of Pakistan's National Assembly.

Islamabad: Omar Ayub Khan, the senior leader of former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), was declared as the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly by Speaker Ayaz Sadiq on Tuesday. The development came as members of the opposition including PTI's Gohar Khan, Amir Dogar and Omar himself met Sadiq, reported Dawn.

Omar's name as the leader of the opposition was submitted during the meeting and subsequently, Sadiq declared Ayub in the post after the completion of the scrutiny process. On March 9, the PTI-Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) alliance nominated Ayub as the leader of the opposition by submitting his documents to the office of the speaker.

Is Omar Ayub in PTI?

While most of the PTI-backed independent candidates of the national and provincial assemblies had submitted affidavits to the Election Commission to officially join SIC in February after the election results showed the independents winning the majority of seats, Omar and Gohar did not join the party as they planned to contest PTI's intra-party elections.

Gohar and Omar were later elected unopposed as the chairman and secretary-general of the party respectively. Omar was also nominated as the Prime Ministerial candidate against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Shehbaz Sharif, who became the premier of a coalition government with Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and others.

In Pakistan's National Assembly, the leader of the opposition sits in front of the NA speaker on his left side and on the right side of the leader of the house and enjoys the status of a federal minister. Omar will also get a separate office where opposition parties usually hold meetings.

Who is Omar Ayub?

Omar is the grandson of Pakistan's first military dictator Ayub Khan who ruled Pakistan from 1958 to 1969. Ayub Khan seized the presidency in a military coup - the country's first - in 1958, toppling former PM Feroze Khan's administration, and was responsible for spearheading the war against India in 1965.

Omar joined the Pakistan Muslim League (Q) along with his father Gohar Ayub Khan before the 2002 general elections. He contested in that year's polls and served as state minister for finance under Shaukat Aziz's administration and the presidency of Pervez Musharraf, taking credit for launching several projects related to natural gas, road infrastructure and electricity.

He was previously in hiding after facing over 20 criminal charges following the May 9 riots, according to Dawn. He contested and won the Haripur seat (NA-18) in the election despite his absence from the campaign by securing 192,948 votes. 

ALSO READ | Pakistan: Who is Omar Ayub, picked by Imran Khan's PTI as PM candidate? 5 facts about him

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