Nawaz meets Zardari after endorsing Raza Rabbani for Senate chief

Updated March 10, 2015

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During a meeting at the PM house, the premier said appointment of a chairman for Senate should be decided after consultations with all parties. - DawnNews screengrab
During a meeting at the PM house, the premier said appointment of a chairman for Senate should be decided after consultations with all parties. - DawnNews screengrab

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited Asif Ali Zardari at the latter’s residence in Islamabad on Tuesday, taking him into confidence over Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz’s (PML-N) decision to support Raza Rabbani as a consensus candidate for the Senate chairman position.

Senior aides from both sides also attended the meeting. Former president Asif Ali Zardari thanked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for supporting Pakistan Peoples Party’s nominee for Senate chief.

Both sides also came up with a formula to decide a consensus candidate for Senate's deputy chairman post. Talking to media personnel after the meeting, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) senior leader Rehman Malik said it was decided that the deputy chairman nominee will be chosen by the leadership in Balochistan.

“It is up to the Balochistan leadership to nominate a candidate of their choice for Senate’s deputy chairman. Any candidate they field will be acceptable to us,” he said.

Earlier, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, while addressing political leaders on Tuesday announced the government's support for PPP's Senator Raza Rabbani as Senate chairman.

During a meeting at the PM House, the premier further said that the appointment of a chairman for Senate should be decided after consultations with all parties.

The luncheon meeting was held in honour of political leaders and heads from PPP, Awami National Party (ANP), Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI), Pakistan National party (PNP) and Pashtunkhwai Milli Awami Party (PKMP) attended the meeting, according to a report published on Radio Pakistan.

The premier said that the ruling PML-N initiated the process of holding consultations with all political leaders to come to a consensus on national issues, which yielded positive results.

He mentioned that PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari held a meeting on Monday for all parties to come to a consensus on a candidate for Senate chairmanship and said that his party too endorses Raza Rabbani, in order to further promote the culture of mutual consensus between political parties.

PM Nawaz further added that the government along with other parties made serious efforts to put an end to horse trading in the politics.

Also read: Opposition names Rabbani for Senate post

The opposition parties unanimously nominated on Monday PPP’s Raza Rabbani as their candidate for the office of Senate chairman.

Mr Rabbani’s name was announced by ANP President Asfandyar Wali Khan in the presence of representatives of all opposition parties represented in the Senate after a nearly four-hour meeting at Zardari House.

Mr Rabbani will be the joint candidate of PPP, ANP and Balochistan National Party-Awami (BNP-A).

Asfandyar Wali, talking to reporters, had claimed that three sitting Fata senators were also part of the opposition alliance whereas one Fata senator belonged to the JUI-F.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the JUI-F chief, had attended the meeting for some time, but he was not present at the time of the announcement, indicating that the Maulana still wanted to keep his options open as he was scheduled to have a meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday.