Federal Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid earlier yesterday stated that the government will disclose the names of its candidates for the Senate chairman and deputy chairman in the next 48 hours.
Talking to a private TV channel, he said that Senate chairman and deputy chairman will be elected with the consent of all the political parties.Pervaiz Rashid stated that the government was in continuous contact with all the political parties, including the PPP, to know their stance.
Zardari’s spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar confirmed to the media that the PPP co-chairman had invited the leaders of the MQM, ANP, JUI-F, PML-Q, Fata and BNP (Awami) to the Zardari House, Islamabad.
“The meeting is aimed at discussing prospects and strategy for fielding consensus candidates for the offices of chairman and deputy chairman Senate on March 12,” he said.Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Asfandyar Wali Khan, Fazlur Rehman, Sanaullah Zehri, Dr Farooq Sattar and Dr Ghazi Jamal are expected to attend the meeting.
Sources said after reports that the PML-N had decided to nominate Mir Hasil Bizenjo for the post of Senate chairman, the PPP had shortlisted Senator Raza Rabbani for the post of chairman and his name is likely to be placed before the opposition leaders in the meeting.
In an informal consultation with the PPP, the ANP proposed Senator Rabbani for the post for raising voice for the rights of smaller provinces. According to ANP leaders, since the Senate represents the Federation, it be better for the federation if a person like Rabbani heads the upper house of Parliament.
Sources said if the opposition parties reached consensus on the name of Mian Raza Rabbani, then the post of deputy chairman would be offered to the opposition parties more probably to those representing Balochistan.
The PPP had nominated Rabbani as its candidate for the president of Pakistan in 2013, but it boycotted the presidential elections in protest against revising the presidential elections’ schedule.
According to sources, though the ANP has agreed on the name of Mian Raza Rabbani, the PPP wants to take all the opposition parties on board in this regard.Sources said smaller parties from Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were pleased with Rabbani’s nomination.
“Raza Rabbani, who authored the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, enjoys cordial relations with the nationalist parties of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa and Balochistan,” said a senior PPP leader.
Meanwhile, according to media reports, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain has approved names for committee to contact political parties and election of Senate chairman and deputy chairman.
According to the statement issued here, Dr. Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Rauf Siddiqui, Dr. Farooq Sattar, Kanwar Naveed Jameel and Babar Ghouri are included in the MQM committee, while Barrister Faroqh Nasim has been added specially for consultation of legal and constitutional matters.