ISLAMABAD - Pakistan People’s Party central leaders discussed on Wednesday the fast taking place changes on the political horizon of the country with a particular reference to the mounting pressure on government for lifting of the Governor’s Rule in Balochistan.Sources in PPP informed TheNation that PPP leaders were in the process of completing their homework about the caretaker set-ups at federal and provincial level, their strategy for the upcoming elections including seat adjustment with coalition partners and the most volatile issue of Governor’s Rule in Balochistan due to which PPP is under tremendous pressure from opposition as well as coalition partners.A delegation of Jamiat-I-Ulema-I-Islam(Fazl) group led by Senator Moulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri also met Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf at Prime Minister’s House and stressed the need of lifting Governor’s Rule in Balochistan and immediate election of the new leader of the house in Balochistan Assembly. The under suspension Chief Minister Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani has agreed to step down and tendered his resignation to JUI-F provincial chief Senator Moulana Mohammad Khan Sherani.Meanwhile, in another development Sherani in a media chat at Parliament House said that they had taken up the matter with the PPP leadership and the final decision in this connection would be made on return of President Zardari from abroad.To a question, he said that incumbent chief minister Balochistan would resign the day Governor’s Rule would be lifted and Balochistan Assembly session would be called. He further said that they had given the proposal to PPP to bring their new leader of the house or let the JUI-F, which is the second largest Parliamentary group in the provincial assembly, form its government.He further said that in case the PPP brings its new candidate for the leader of house, JUI-F MPs would prefer to sit on opposition benches, where currently only three MPAs - one from PML-Q and two independents - comprises the opposition. The sources in the PPP informed that in principle the decision to lift the Governor’s Rule had been made and formal announcement in this connection would be made in next few days after the return of President.The sources further said that it was in this backdrop that the decision to defer the summoned Joint Session of the Parliament to get ratification of the Governor’s Rule was made and the Governor Balochistan Nawab Zulfiqar Magsi had also deferred the meeting to pick up his cabinet to run the governmental affairs.The sources further said that the meeting of JUI-F delegation mainly discussed the Balochistan issue, as after PPP, JUI-F is the biggest Parliamentary Group in the Balochistan Assembly with 10 MPAs.The sources further said that JUI-F wanted some major role in the formation of the caretaker set-up in Balochistan and for that matter they desired to acquire the position of Opposition Leader in the Balochistan Assembly in case the PPP brought a new leader of house. Otherwise they have also showed their interest to put stake on the slot of leader of house in provincial assembly in case PPP did not intend to bring its candidate.The sources in PPP informed that in the select party leaders under the chair of Prime Minister they reviewed the progress so far made in provinces regarding the establishment of caretaker set-ups and overall preparedness of the party for the upcoming elections.The PPP leadership had already constituted committees in all the four provinces to initiate consultations with major political parties for evolving consensus on the caretaker set-ups before entering into formal consultation with the constitutional consultees defined in the constitution for the purpose.According to the party sources in Sindh, the committee would be headed by Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, in Punjab Mian Manzoor Wattoo, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Anwar Saifullah while in Balochistan Sadiq Umrani was assigned the task to consult the major stakeholders on evolving consensus on the candidate for the caretaker chief minister.

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 07-Feb-2013 here.