Frontier Gandhi’s grandson to head NWFP government

March 31st, 2008 - 6:19 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Nawaz Sharif
By Muhammad Najeeb
Islamabad, March 31 (IANS) Amir Haider Khan Hoti, grandson of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, was Monday unanimously elected the chief minister of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) in Pakistan. “I declare Amir Haider Khan Hoti as leader of the house,” the provincial assembly speaker announced as Hoti was the only candidate for the top executive position in the terror-hit province bordering Afghanistan.

Hoti, 36, said he would take all members and parties in the provincial assembly on board.

“We are facing very serious crisis and I am thankful that all members have reposed confidence in me and we would be able to resolve all the issues,” the chief minister-elect told reporters.

Hoti is grandson of Ghaffar Khan, who was also known as Sarhadi (Frontier) Gandhi in Pakistan because of his close association with Mahatma Gandhi and the Nehru family.

Hoti belongs to the Awami National Party (ANP) and is follower of Red Shirt Movement in NWFP that was led by his grandfather in mid-1940s.

The ANP is leading the coalition government with the help from Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

The opposition parties in the province decided not to field a candidate for the chief ministership.

NWFP is most affected by the US-led war on terror. When the ANP was Monday submitting Hoti’s nomination papers for chief minister’s office, reports said that three paramilitary troops and five civilians were killed in armed clashes in border areas along Afghanistan.

“We will draw a strategy with the help of the federal government so that the civilians can live a peaceful life,” Hoti said while talking to reporters after the speaker declared him successful in elections for the chief minister.

Hoti will take oath of the office Tuesday in Peshawar at the Governor’s House and is likely to announce his cabinet later in the evening.

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