Power struggle unfolds in power corridors

ISLAMABAD   -   The ruling clique, in centre, seemingly enjoys good relations to jointly run the government’s affairs but a clear rift appearing in the ranks over the matter of distribution of power.

The ruling party [PML-N], after taking the reins, could not convince its main coalition partner [PPP] to join them in the federal cabinet as the rest of the allies had taken their shares. Albeit the Pakistan Peoples Party [PPP] has shown disinterest in the federal cabinet but it is enjoying major slots in the centre.

The party, with the argument of not having a share in the federal cabinet, is set to get a big share in standing committees of the parliament.

The party has conveyed its conditions to the ruling party as it wants chairmanships of main standing committees as per the size of the party. “The party leadership has clarified time and again that the PPP will not become part of the federal cabinet,” said senior member of PPP Qamar Zaman Kaira, mentioning that the party has yet not changed its stance over this matter. However, Kaira did not speak over the matter of getting an important slot in the standing committees.

The ruling party [PML-N], is facing a difficult situation, as not only coalition partners but the members of the opposition factions are also demanding a big share in the standing committees. “Though, we have no party symbol, lawmakers with the same affiliation and ideology will strive to get Chairmanship of ten standing committees,” said independent MNA Amir Dogar, having association with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf [PTI].

Background discussions with senior politicians revealed the MQM-P was also interested in taking chairmanships of some main parliamentary committees. The party leadership will convey their wish while submitting names and preferences in the national assembly secretariat.

It will obviously be difficult for the ruling party to resolve this important matter before the presentation of the federal budget, which is likely by the third week of June. The bills introduced in the house are referred to the standing committees for the discussion and vetting, but still after three month the parliamentary committees have not been formed.

 Political pundits viewed that it would not be an easy task for the ruling party to ignore any party in the distribution of the standing committees. The ruling party is obviously not in a position to annoy coalition partners and also its is difficult to face possible wrath of the opposition. The standing committee chairman enjoys the status equal to the Minister, so all the parties will not compromise on their share.

Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, in the last month, twice asked the parliamentary political parties from treasury and opposition to evolve consensus so that he summons a formal meeting to discuss the matter. Whereas, the government and the opposition have not proceeded over this matter.

Some of the parties have also submitted their preferences to the national assembly secretariat. The Speaker National Assembly has also recently been authorised to nominate the committees after receiving representations from the parties. Last month, Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq had initially discussed the matter with the representatives of the political parties but it remained inconclusive.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt