ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday announced that the government would back Pakistan People’s Party (PPP-P) candidate Raza Rabbani as Senate Chairman. After the PML-N’s support,the stage is set for unopposed elections of the Senate Chairman and Deputy Chairman.
Speaking at luncheon meeting in honor of political leaders in Islamabad today, he said that PML-N has initiated the process of broad based consultation for emerging a consensus on the national issues which has yielded positive results and opening new political traditions.
The PM heartily welcomed the nomination of the opposition and said the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) will not nominate its own candidate for either Chairman or Deputy Chairman.
The PM went on to say that the government wanted a unanimous decision and has consulted all parties and taken decisions based on national interest.
He regretted that PPP co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardri held a consultative meeting of the political parties last night to nominate a consensus candidate but it might have been better that he also invited him to participate in the meeting. However he said now when the political parties have reached on a consensus on the name of Mian Raza Rabbani his party also endorses his name to promote culture of consensus.
Nawaz Sharif said that he also sent message to former President Asif Ali Zaradri to move forward the process of mutual consultation on the issue of the election of the Chairman and deputy chairman but did not receive any feed back. He said the present government launched this initiative during the last one and half years and arranged meetings of the political leadership for reaching on a national consensus on all all important issues.
He said new democratic traditions have been set by the government and this process will continue to move forward the democratic process and the country in positive directions. He said this consultation process will be help full in forging unity among the political leadership to resolve the issues.
The Prime Minister said the government along with other political parties made serious and successful efforts to overcome horse trading and stop money game in the political process.
He said that the country cannot afford more confrontations. The PM said that the positive change that is about to come should be long-lasting. He urged the stake holders to sit together and discuss matters which are important for the progress of the country. The government wants to put an end to politics of money in the Senate election, he added.
Nawaz Sharif said that it is unfortunate that few members became Senators through politics of money. He said that there should be no reservation over live broadcasting of Senate election. The national policy must not be changed with respect to the change in governments, he added.
The leaders of PML-N, PPP, ANP, MQM, JUI, PKMP and PNP attended the meeting. Late on Monday, leaders of the opposition PPP – the largest party in the Senate with 28 members – announced that it had succeeded in convincing the Awami National Party (ANP), the PML-Q and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) to support their candidate, Senator Raza Rabbani, for the Chairman Senate slot.
ANP chief Asfandyar Wali claimed he had the further support of four Senators from FATA to back Rabbani’s candidacy for chairman Senate.