LAHORE- The name of next Balochistan chief minister could not be finalised on Friday as PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif was unwell and could not hold discussions with legislators-elect and coalition parties about selection of one of the three contestants.
Sharif however presided over the meeting that picked up names of 11 ministers for the Federal Cabinet who are likely to be sworn in on June 7.
Sources say besides finalising names for federal ministries in the first phase, the meeting also mulled names of National Assembly speaker, Punjab Assembly speaker and deputy speaker and provincial governors.
Due to fatigue of political activities before and after elections, Sharif appeared to be indisposed and limited in his dealings to get some time to rest.
Later, spokesperson for the PML-N chief, Dr Asif Kirmani, said Mr Sharif was quite well. He added Nawaz Sharif would meet with the newly-elected MNAs of the party at the Committee Room 2 of the National Assembly at 9:45am on Saturday, before the swearing-in of elected legislators.
According to sources, Ishaq Dar, Pervaiz Raheed, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Khwaja Asif, Saad Rafiq, Ahsan Iqbal, Khurram Dastagir, Ayaz Sadiq, Abdul Qadir Baloch, Saira Afzal Tarar and Pir Sadruddin Rashdi would be part of the federal cabinet. Former senator Sartaj Aziz and a former diplomat are to be appointed aides to the incoming prime minister.
Sources further said names of Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Ayaz Sadiq and Barjees Tahir are under consideration for the slot of National Assembly speaker. They added that the meeting considered names of Sardar Mehtab Khan Abbasi for the lot of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governor, and Sardar Yaqub Khan Nasir for that of Balochistan governor.
As to the key position of Punjab speaker, the meeting considered the name of incumbent Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan and former law minister Rana Sanaullah Khan and wanted a lady to be appointed as a deputy speaker. Sources say final decision in this regard will be taken by Sunday when nomination papers for both the slots are to be filed.
The selection of Balochistan chief minister is lingering on as PML-N Balochistan President Nawabzada Sanaullah Zehri, another MPA of the Party Nawab Jangraiz Khan Murri and Dr Abdul Maalik Baloch of National Party are contending for this slot. These three party leaders have left a final decision to Nawaz Sharif will announce a name within next two to three days after consultations.
In the 65-member House, PML-N has maximum 17 members followed by 14 of Pakhtoonkhwan Milli Awami Party (PKMAP), National Party 10 seats and Balochistan National Party-Mengal two seats. These parties have to form coalition government in that province.
Zehri, chief of the Jalawan tribe, was the first man named for the CM office. However after certain reservation were expressed, the party floated the name of Nawabzada Jangraiz Murri, son of Nawab Khair Buksh Murri, who could be very effective to cool down the disgruntled Balochs and bring them to mainstream politics.
However Zehri did not agree with the party decision and certain reports suggested that he threatened to form a bloc. But Zehri denied issuing such a threat in his media talk. Though Zehri has agreed to concede to decision of the party head he is staunchly pushing up his case in the party and leads the hopefuls.
Dr Maalik, head of the National Party, a man from the middle class leadership of the province, is being supported by PKMAP, NP and BNP.
The BNP has extended support to the PML-N has sought appointment of Maalik as CM in the interest of ridding the Baloch people of the yoke of authoritarian Sardars. Sources say the BNP has conveyed this suggestion to the PML-N head but at the same time it has agreed to accept any name he would finalise for this slot.
Meanwhile addressing the media, Zehri and Jangraiz have denied any rift in the party on the CM Balochistan name and said, they would accept whatever decision is made by the Party head Nawaz Sharif.