PML-N, PPP eye Senate chairman, NA speaker posts

Rana Ghulam Qadir
National Assembly of Pakistan. — AFP/File
National Assembly of Pakistan. — AFP/File 

  • Yusuf Raza Gilani may get NA speaker's post.
  • PML-N to likely get position of deputy speaker. 
  • MQM-P seeks position of Sindh's governor.

ISLAMABAD: As political wheeling and dealing continues between parties after the February 8 elections, discussions between Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) for cooperation on constitutional positions are underway, The News reported Friday. 

According to the sources, the PPP wants the position of speaker of the National Assembly for its party. It has also chosen two candidates for the speaker's post, one of them being former prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani.

Gilani, who is very close to PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, has more chances of becoming the NA speaker, revealed the sources.

Meanwhile, the PML-N will likely get the position of deputy speaker. As per tradition, if the speaker is appointed from Punjab then the deputy speaker is appointed from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Earlier, Murtaza Javed Abbasi, Faisal Karim Kundi and Zahid Akram Durrani were the deputy speakers. 

Sardar Muhammad Yusuf, the successful candidate of PML-N from Hazara Division, is likely to be made the deputy speaker of the National Assembly after PML-N's Murtaza Javed Abbasi lost the election.

The post of Senate chairman will be given to PML-N with Ishaq Dar being a candidate if he does not become the finance minister. Otherwise, Azam Nazir Tarar will be the PML-N candidate.

The post of deputy chairman of the Senate is traditionally given to Balochistan and as per the sources, the seat will once again be given to the province with Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) likely to get this position.

Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haidri, Jan Jamali, Sabir Baloch and Noor Jahan Panizai have held this position. 

Sources said the PPP has also asked for the governorship of Punjab and chose Qamar Zaman Kaira as the candidate. Moreover, Nadeem Afzal Chan and Aslam Gul are also being considered for this post.

On the other hand, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) has sought the post of Sindh's governor. However, PPP has expressed reservations regarding this. 

The MQM-P has said that it will not vote for Asif Ali Zardari for the presidency if the PPP opposes their governorship demand. There is a strong possibility that MQM-P’s Kamran Tessori will continue working as Sindh governor.