PPP contacts PTI, JUI-F for Chairman Senate election

Naimat Khan

KARACHI: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has speed up efforts to elect its candidate as chairman Senate of Pakistan, it emerged here on Monday.

According to sources in Bilawal House Karachi, Co-Chairman PPP and President of the Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarian (PPPP), Asif Ali Zardari, is directly handling the process of wining support of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Jamiat Ulama-e-Islam (JUI-F) for electing its candidate as chairman senate.

According to sources privy to the talks, the PPP has offered to support PTI’s candidate for the post of deputy Chairman in lieu of the latter’s support to get PPP candidate elected on the slot of Chairman Senate.

However, sources couldn’t confirm if the PTI has shown its reaction over the overture. “In case PTI turned down the offer PTI will go for talking with the MQM-P and JUI-F,” a leader demanding anonymity told The Frontier Post.

Sources told that Dr Abdul Qauym, who is tasked for contacts with JUI-F, met with Maulana Fazlur Rehman in Karachi here on Monday evening to hold consultation besides scheduling Asif Ali Zardari’s meeting with the JUI-F chief.

In Saturday’s Senate elections, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz-baked independent candidates bagged 15 seats, making it the single largest party in the upper house. However, PPP, which bagged 12 seats, disputed PML-N’s claim, and also said it has support of independent candidates from Balochistan.

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto on Sunday said that the party is in contact with other parties and will try to bring a candidate for Senate chairman from the opposition.

Meanwhile PTI won six seats, taking its total count to 12.

According to reports PML-N’s Raja Zafarul Haq has been a strong contender for the top post in the upper house, while the name of Pervaiz Rasheed is also under consideration.

The PML-N, however, may consider if the PPP nominates outgoing Senate chairman Raza Rabbani, according to sources.

Sources further said the PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari considers Salim Mandviwala and Sherry Rehman as strong candidates for Senate chairmanship.

Bilawal, on the other hand, favors Rabbani as the PPP candidate, sources added. The PPP chairman may have Sherry Rehman as his second priority for the top Senate post.