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Decision on governor’s rule likely today

March 03, 2013

Law Minister Farooq H Naek — APP/File Photo

ISLAMABAD: A meeting on Balochistan’s political crisis on Monday is likely to announce a date for lifting governor’s rule.

The meeting to be held in Lahore will be presided over by President Asif Ai Zardari and attended by PPP stalwarts, including Law Minister Farooq H. Naek. The president will also meet some leaders of parties in the ruling coalition, including the PML-Q, and discuss the matter with them.

“President Zardari has called me to Lahore for the meeting,” the law minister told Dawn on Sunday.

Asked when exactly the president would lift governor’s rule and restore the Balochistan government to fulfil a constitutional requirement for initiating the process of installing a caretaker set-up, Mr Naek said: “I will be in position to say something about it only after attending the meeting.”

The main parties having representation in the Balochistan Assembly — Pakistan People’s Party, Pakistan Muslim League-Q and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-F — are reported to have reached an understanding for a new set-up in the province.

Sources in the Presidency said that after the lifting of governor’s rule a session of the provincial assembly would be called to elect a new chief minister as Nawab Aslam Raisani had already resigned.

The PML-Q has claims to have a majority of 21 members in a house of 65 and no government could be formed in the province without its consent.

According to the official website of the Balochistan Assembly, the PML-Q has 19 members, PPP 15, JUI-F 10, independents eight, Balochistan National Party-Awami seven and Awami National Party three. The PML-N, JUI-I and National Party have one member each.

The sources said the PPP had decided not to insist on getting the post of chief minister while the JUI-F had already announced that it would sit on opposition benches.

According to the Constitution, the caretaker chief minister will be appointed by consultation between the leaders of the house and the opposition, and if JUI-F sits in the opposition the nomination will have to be made with its consent.