Sharif, Zardari ‘face off’ over Senate leadership
March 08 2018 09:46 PM
Sharif and Zardari


The ruling Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) and its allies received a shock yesterday when the Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) president Asif Ali Zardari rejected their offer of support to re-elect Mian Raza Rabbani as Senate chairman.
During a consultative meeting held here, the ruling PML-N and its allies agreed to support Rabbani for the office of the Senate chairman if nominated by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).
The allies agreed with Sharif’s suggestion that the PPP leadership should be contacted on the issue.
The consultative meeting was attended by Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Mir Hasil Bizenjo, Mehmood Khan Achakzai, Raja Zafarul Haq, Mushahid Husain Sayed, Pervaiz Rashid and others.
Sharif later told newsmen that Rabbani was a suitable candidate for the office of Senate chairman.
He said that the PML-N would bring its own candidate if the PPP did not agree to their suggestion.
Having 33 members in the Senate, the PML-N also enjoys the support of at least 15 senators from the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam – Fazlur (JUI-F), National Party (NP) and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PKAMP).
The offer (of support) was conveyed to Zardari by the JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman during a meeting.
However, Zardari rejected the offer saying: “Thank you. I don’t need it.”
The PPP leader wants his close aide Salim Mandviwala to head the upper house of Parliament.
“Thank you very much, I don’t want that,” Zardari responded precisely when a journalist put him a question about Sharif’s offer during a press talk after his meeting with JUI-F chief Rehman.
Zardari’s refusal to accept Nawaz’s offer shows his disinterest in bringing Rabbani as the consensus candidate for the second term.
Zardari visited Rehman’s residence to seek his support for the election of Mandviwala as the Senate chairman and offered him the office of deputy Senate chairman.
“We hope Fazl will support us, as he has done so in the past,” he said. “I have discussed some names with Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who will share our suggestions with his friends.”
Rehman informed the media about his meeting earlier with Sharif and said that he had held a consultative session yesterday and some suggestions were presented.
”We will discuss these suggestions in our meeting and if any better suggestion comes out, we will also put our suggestions to them,” he said.

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