KARACHI - Though, PML-N and PML-F are partners in federal government but both factions of Pakistan Muslim League are not on same page over the slot of the opposition leader in Sindh Assembly.
With joining Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) joining the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) led government last week, the seat of the opposition leader is laying vacant in the Sindh Assembly.
The PML-Functional of the Pir Pagara, which is majority party on opposition benches with 11 members in province, on Saturday nominated its MPA Muhammad Shaharyar Khan Mahar as opposition leader in the Sindh Assembly, while PML-Nawaz, which with its 10 members is second biggest majority opposition party in the house, announced not to accept the decision.
However, the Cricketer turned politician Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), which has 4 MPAs, announced to back the PML-F’s nominated opposition leader, paving the way for Pagara’s party to lead the opposition benches in the provincial assembly.
A joint meeting of the opposition parties in Sindh Assembly was held at the residence of PML-F’s provincial president and federal minister for overseas Pakistanis Pir Sadaruddin Shah Rashdi on Saturday, which was attended by PML-N’s parliamentary leader in Sindh Assembly Irfanullah Marwat, PTI’s parliamentary leader Samar Ali Khan and PML-F’s parliamentary leader Nand Kumar, besides other MPAs of these parties.
After the meeting, PML-F announced to nominate its MPA Shaharyar Khan Mahar as opposition leader in Sindh Assembly. Mahar is son of the former federal minister Ghaus Bux Khan Mahar, who belongs to Shikarpur district, which is also electoral constituency of Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani.
The PTI has announced its support for the PML-F’s nominee. Sources said that PML-F assured the PTI of giving it the slot of the deputy opposition leader in the Sindh Assembly. When contacted, PTI MPA Khuram Sher Zaman confirmed to The Nation that his party has supported the PML-F’s nominee. He said they were on opposition benches in national assembly against the PML-N government, so how can they support their nominee for opposition leader in Sindh Assembly. He said it was decision of the party leadership to support the PML-F’s nominee.
With PTI’s support, the way is clear for the PML-F to lead the opposition benches in Sindh Assembly. Presently, PML-F has 11 MPAs, while PTI has four members. In the current scenario, the PML-N is seen alone on opposition benches with its 10 members in the provincial legislature.
When contacted, PML-N parliamentary leader in Sindh Assembly Irfanullah Marwat told The Nation that meeting of joint opposition parties remained inconclusive as they do not support the decision of the PML-F. “My party has recommended my name for the slot. We will again hold a meeting with the PML-F to convince them to get their support”, Marwat said.
It is expected that PML-F will approach Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif to get the support of his party’s MPAs. In the meanwhile, PML-F’s Parliamentary Leader Nand Kumar along with the signatures of the MPAs on their side will submit the application with the office of the Speaker tomorrow, requesting him to declare Shaharyar Mahar as opposition leader in the assembly.