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PML-Q and allies field Sattar for top office

March 17, 2008

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ISLAMABAD, March 16: The Pakistan Muslim League-Q and its allies have decided to field Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s parliamentary leader Farooq Sattar as their candidate for the post of prime minister.

A meeting of the parties’ MNAs-elect hosted by PML-Q president Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain here on Sunday also decided that MQM’s Khushbakht Shujaat would be the candidate for the post of deputy speaker.

No candidate was named for the speaker’s post.

Briefing newsmen after the meeting, Chaudhry Shujaat said the opposition would support the government’s good actions but would not be a party to any decision against national interests.

He said PML-Q parliamentary leader Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi would be the leader of the opposition in the house and MQM’s Haider Abbas Rizvi would be the deputy opposition leader.

Chaudhry Pervaiz said the opposition parliamentary group would comprise the PML-Q, MQM, PML (Functional), National People’s Party and PPP (Sherpao).

He said the opposition would not repeat the ugly tradition of desk thumping and would play a constructive role.

MQM chief Altaf Hussain also addressed the gathering on phone.

He said the PML-Q, the MQM and their allies had polled more votes than other parties in the election and they would play a constructive role and not disappoint the electorate. He asserted that the combined opposition would steer the country out of the current crisis.

He said the opposition would support all steps that would help in the smooth running of the democratic system but would stand against any autocratic action of the new government.

Mr Sattar said that the opposition’s candidate for the post of prime minister would be for the next five years. He said the opposition would refrain from wasting public funds by criticising the treasury for the sake of criticism.

He said the opposition would work for greater provincial autonomy and stability of the region by fighting terrorism and extremism.

He said the opposition would pursue its agenda in accordance with democratic norms.

According to a press release, the MQM chief felicitated workers of the party on Mr Sattar’s nomination as a candidate for the post of prime minister.