ISLAMABAD–After meeting with a two-member PML-N delegation at the ‘Federal Nine-Zero’ here, MQM leader Rauf Siddiqui on Monday said the meeting was held in cordial environment but remained inconclusive.
He, however, added that his party can also field candidates of their own for the posts of Chairman Senate and Deputy Chairman Senate.
Dr Farooq Sattar said that his party believes in politics of reconciliation and expressed hope that all political forces would support their candidates for the crucial senate seats.
“We have been casting votes in favour of other’s candidates for the last many years… it’s about time that others vote for our candidates this time around,” said the MQM leader.
He said that no final decision has been taken as yet and the consultation would continue after today’s meeting.
“Reconciliatory process must continue… politics and democracy must get strengthened in Pakistan,” he added.
Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique said on the occasion that all political parties should meet with each other. He said talks with MQM went well today. However, he added that nothing was decided or concluded and this was only the beginning of dialogue.
Earlier, a meeting was held under the chair of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar which evaluated proposed candidates for these posts. It was also decided during the meeting that the government team would meet MQM and ANP leaders over the appointment of the Senate Chairman and Deputy Chairman.
Meanwhile, PPP leader Raza Rabbani, after meeting with Muttahida leaders said that his party’s delegation met with the MQM leadership to create conducive environment in the Upper House of Parliament.
He said that candidates for Senate Chairman and Deputy Chairman have not been decided as yet and would only be shortlisted after conclusion of ongoing consultations with opposition parties.
Politicking for Senate seats in full swing
In a bid to gather enough support to install chairman and deputy chairman of their choice, Pakistan People’s Party – the leading party in Senate – has invited like-minded parties to attend a meeting on Monday.
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has also formed a committee to contact other political forces for the same.
The PPP’s multi-party moot would be held on Monday and is likely to be attended by MQM, ANP, JUI-F, PML-Q and BNP.
After Thursday’s election, the current strength of the mentioned parties is 26 with MQM 8, ANP 7, JUI-F 5, PML-Q 4 and BNP with 2 senate seats.
With PPP’s 27 seats, the coalition would easily win the poll for chairman and deputy chairman’s posts. However, only time would tell if Asif Ali Zardari – the former president and PPP co-chairman, known for his skills when it comes to politics of reconciliation – is successful in wooing these lawmakers.
Meanwhile, MQM chief Altaf Hussain has given a nod to form a committee to contact other political forces for the same. Dr Khalid Mqabool Siddiqui, Rauf Siddiqui, Farooq Sattar, Kunwar Naveed Jamil, Babar Ghauri and Barrister Farogh Nasim are included in the committee.
According to sources, the ruling Pakistan Muslim Laeague-Nawaz (PML-N) has already recommended the name of National Party (NP) leader Mir Hasil Bizenjo for the post of Senate Chairman.
The PPP has also reportedly put forward the name of Senator Rubina Rauf for Deputy Chairperson.
Both the leading parties – the PML-N and PPP – are hopeful to enjoy the privilege after bagging 26 and 27 seats respectively in the Thursday’s Senate polls.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, whose party managed to bag six seats from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, has already vowed not to vote for the candidates of both PML-N and PPP.
Meanwhile, PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain has said that he has been invited by both PML-N and PPP over the issue. He said that the final decision regarding supporting a Senate chairman candidate will be taken after meeting with the both parties on Monday.
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