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Ruling PPP keeps PML-N engaged on contentious issues
 
 
 

ISLAMABAD - Despite clear-cut ‘no’ to negotiation for caretaker prime minister by Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly, the ruling Pakistan People’s Party leadership has not lost heart, as it keeps attempting to engage the main opposition PML-N in productive parleys on contentious issues between the two sides.Sources aware of the developments informed TheNation that on Friday federal ministers Syed Khursheed Shah and Syed Naveed Qamar met PML-N central leader Sardar Mehtab Ahmad Khan Abbassi to reopen the corridors of dialogue, which ostensibly seemed shut after the announcement of no to dialogue with government by Ch Nisar Ali Khan on caretaker setup.After the passage of 19th Constitutional Amendment, Leader of House and Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly are the main consultees in the process for caretaker Prime Minister’s selection. But Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly has minced no words saying that no talks would be held with government for selection of caretaker Prime Minister and they would follow the constitutional path defined for it, clearly omitting the first stage of consultation, leaving the matter to the eight members Parliamentary Committee to decide on it And in case of committee’s failure to evolve consensus on any name from the lists of two candidates each forwarded to it by Prime Minister and Leader of Opposition then the matter would go to Chief Election Commission to pick one of the candidates out of that list in consultation with his members.Sources in the government informed that both the PPP central leaders went to Sardar Mehtab Ahmad Khan Abbassi with some ‘package’ to lure the latter in negotiation process. But sources aware of the negotiations between them informed that Sardar Mehtab Ahmad Khan Abbassi instead of making some commitment has given them the list of candidates short-listed by the PML-N in consultation with the opposition parties. The PPP leaders were also carrying some names and wanted to have discussion with Opposition on all the names under consideration of both the sides so that consensus on any one name could be evolved. So that the name agreed upon should be included in the list of two candidates each to be presented by Prime Minister and Leader of Opposition to make it a win-win situation for both sides.But Sardar Mehtab Ahmad Khan Abbassi has not shown any flexibility and made it clear to the PPP leaders that they would not engage in any sort of negotiations on caretaker PM with them and given them the list of the candidates, PML-N has short-listed with the offer that PPP led coalition government could consider any of these names.Syed Khursheed Shah has sought time from Mehtab Abbassi for consultation with party and coalition parties’ leadership.Sources said that both the PPP leaders have also sought the support of the PML-N on legislation on Bahawalpur Janoobi Punjab Province but PML-N leader has flatly refused to extend any sort of help on it saying that the party’s stance on the issue is explicitly clear.The names for the caretaker set up under consideration of both the parties included Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party chief Mahmood Khan Achakzai, Sardar Attaullah Mengal, chief of his own faction of Balochistan National Party, renowned human right activists and renowned lawyer Ms Asma Jahangir, Justice (retd) Nasir Aslam Zahid, Justice (retd) Saeeduz Zaman Siddiqui, Justice(retd) Mohammad Ajmal Mian, Justice(retd) Mian Shakirullah Jan, former Ambassador of Pakistan to United Nations Abdullah Hussain Haroon and a few other names.A careful analysis of the background and the mental inclination of the candidates under serious considerations of both the ruling alliance and opposition circles the probability of Justice (retd) Nasir Aslam Zahid and PkMP chief Mahmood Khan Achakzai in getting into the final list of Leader of Opposition is more, because majority of the opposition parties have raised minimal objections on these two names during the consultation process initiated by the Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Ch. Nisar Ali Khan with them. Sources said that there are few names, which are under considerations on both sides, and there is strong likelihood that some one of these names could be finalised as the future caretaker Prime Minsiter.

 
 
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