From JI to PTI: National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser’s political journey

August 15, 2018

Asad Qaiser is known for the grassroot activism he has been involved in since he was a student. He began his political journey with the Jamaat-e-Islami’s student wing. He has come a long way, having now been elected the speaker of the National Assembly.

Qaiser was nominated by the PTI as speaker of the National Assembly. Unlike other PTI leaders, Qaiser is known for his cool temperament and advocacy of political harmony.

He was born on November 15, 1969 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s Swabi district. He studied at the Government Higher Secondary School in Swabi and later graduated from the University of Peshawar. Today, he is the owner of an expansive network of private schools.

Qaiser entered politics as a student by registering as a member of the the Islami Jamiat Talaba. After finishing his studies, he joined the Jamiat’s parent party, Jamaat-e-Islami. He worked as an active member of the party and was soon elected president of the Tanzeem-e-Pasban’s Mardan division. The Tanzeem-e-Pasban was a youth-based organisation affiliated with the JI.

The party head at the time, Qazi Husain Ahmed, had established the Tanzeem. It was very popular among young people across the country. Later, the JI replaced the Tanzeem with the Shabab-e-Milli. Last year, the Shabab-e-Milli was renamed the JI Youth.

Qaiser was one of the founding members of the PTI in 1996. He left the JI to set up the party with Imran Khan. Initially, he worked as a general member. Soon he was elected president of the party’s Swabi division. He retained the position for quite some time.

Qaiser contested the 2002 general elections but was defeated. In 2008, the PTI and JI boycotted the elections. However, the then Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa president of the PTI went against the party’s decision and contested the election from Shabqadar. He was removed from his position for violating the party rules and Qaiser was made the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa president.

Qaiser retained the position from 2008 until 2011. In 2013, the PTI held its intra-party elections. Qaiser defeated Pervez Khattak and once again became the provincial president of the party.

In the 2013 election, Qaiser emerged victorious from Swabi on both the national and provincial seats. He gave up his National Assembly seat to retain his provincial seat. The PTI formed the government in alliance with the JI in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. It was expected that Qaiser would be nominated as the CM, given that he was a founding member of the party. However, Khattak was fielded for CM while Qaiser was elected the speaker of the provincial assembly.

In the recent election, Qaiser has once again emerged victorious on Swabi’s NA-18 and PK-44 seats. This time it was expected that Qaiser would be rewarded with the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa CM’s post for his loyalty to the party. However, the PTI has nominated Mehmood Khan.

Qaiser was fielded as the party’s candidate for the speaker and was elected on Wednesday with the most votes.

 
 

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