• PPP circles suggest custodians of both houses may be from Sindh
• PML-N floats Ayaz Sadiq as counter-offer to PPP names for NA speaker

ISLAMABAD: A scheduled second round of talks between the Contact and Coordination Committees (CCCs) of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) could not take place on Thursday, as both sides sought more time to assess proposals that came up in their first meeting.

The next huddle between the two sides is likely to take place today (Friday).

The PPP has assured the Nawaz league of its support in the formation of a government as well as the election of the next prime minister, on the condition that the PML-N will support them in elections to key constitutional offices.

However, given the tough competition between individuals, nominating people to fill those coveted spots is proving to be a tough nut to crack for PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari.

Sources said that although former PM Yousuf Raza Gilani was in contention for National Assembly speaker, he had been instructed to retain his Senate seat, indicating that he may be fielded for the slot of Senate chairman.

Meanwhile, former opposition leader Khursheed Shah’s name has been floated for the post of speaker, as word within party circles is that the custodians of both houses may hail from Sindh.

On the flip side, the PML-N is said to have named another former speaker, Ayaz Sadiq, as their nominee for the position.

Engagement with PTI?

Meanwhile, PPP Information Secretary Faisal Karim Kundi has said that the PTI has not made any contact with the party for political reconciliation so far. He said the PTI had announced that it will make contact with all political forces, including the PPP, but said the party has yet to reach out to them.

“If PTI has any suggestion, it should meet the six-member coordination committee and then these suggestions will come to the top leadership for consideration,” he added.

On Thursday, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari was briefed by members of the PPP’s CCCs about contacts with political parties at Zardari House. The meeting was attended by Qamar Zaman Kaira, Syed Murad Ali Shah, Saeed Ghani and other leaders.

Meanwhile, an independent candidate from PP-89 Bhakkar, Ameer Muhammad Khan, announced his intention to join the PPP.

Published in Dawn, February 16th, 2024

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