The wait is over. After keeping his own party on tenterhooks, Imran Khan has announced his nominee for the chief minister (CM) of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).Mahmood Khan is, for many, a rather surprise choice. Meaning that he is not as big a name as others within party ranks. Thus there have been media reports that certain electables are rather put out at having not been sufficiently rewarded for their services to ballot-box gains. Elsewhere, there are murmurs that in-house bickering, primarily between the last CM KP and the provincial Education minister, are what has brought the party to such a ‘compromise’. Mahmood himself has gone on the record to dispel rumours that his selection is fragmenting the PTI. Yet none of this appears to concern Kaptaan much. He has long cast himself in the role of defender of the underdog; that is, those who are systematically underrepresented or who have their legitimate grievances ignored. This saw him take the (welcome) executive decision not to field any candidates against a leader of the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM). In an equally bold move, the billionaire Mahmood will be the first chief minister nominated from Malakland division.Be that as it may, this latest move risks strengthening opposition claims that Naya Pakistan is nothing more than the Purana of old. The would-be CM held several successive portfolios under the last set-up and during this time was investigated for alleged corruption; involving the transfer of a cool Rs1.8 million in expense funds to his personal account. He was duly cleared of all charges; with subordinate officials taking the full brunt of the misdemeanour. Imran secured the premiership overwhelmingly due to his tough talk on corruption. He should now prepare to hear renewed calls of how his government worked hard to “save” one of its ministers at the very real expense of junior staff. Read more: KP makes historyNevertheless, supporters of the PM-elect suggest that their leader may be one step ahead. For just before naming Mahmood, he announced that the new CM would face a probation period of 3-6 months. Meaning that if the latter did not perform as expected — he would be out. This lends credence to suspicions that the man for the KP job will not last the interim; or, put another way, only long enough until Imran reprimands his squabbling political children. Yet whatever the case may be, it represents a very short time-frame. And may ultimately do a disservice to the citizenry who re-elected an outgoing government for the first time in the province’s history. Moreover, it suggests that Kaptaan needs to move beyond concepts of doing away with bad governance like corruption, say, within 90 days or else planning ahead for a hundred days at a time. As the country’s political players ready to form a new regime at both the Centre and in the provinces, it is hoped that the focus will be on the matter at hand. That is, strengthening Pakistan’s democracy over the next five years. Nothing more. Nothing less. *Published in Daily Times, August 10th 2018.