ISLAMABAD - Although the mending of fences with estranged coalition partner Jamiat-I-Ulema-I-Islam (Fazl) is of great significance for the ruling Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), the rulers still need the PPP support to get the Protection of Pakistan (ordinance) Bill 2014 to sail through the Upper House of the Parliament.
Background interviews and input from various political parties having strength in the Senate revealed that still the legal wizards of ruling Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) are focused to woo the support of PPP, having the highest strength of 39 in Senate of 103 for the passage of much talked about and controversial PPO Bill 2014.
The joint opposition parties had proposed a number of amendments in the bill, right now with the Senate Standing Committee on Interior and Narcotics Control being headed by JUI-F Senator Talah Mahmood, who had deferred the meeting of the committee twice to give time to the parties to hammer out differences and give it a shape which would be acceptable to all the stakeholders.
Almost all the opposition parties and even one of the coalition partners JUI-F came up with strongest opposition to the PPO, when it was tabled in the Lower House, and Moulana Fazlur Rehman had made it loud and clear that they would not let it through from the Parliament in its present form.
Sources aware of the government-JUI-F patch-up informed that PML-N was under tremendous pressure of the opposition parties due to so many reasons, which had increased manifolds after the blunder of Model Town police firing and subsequent killing of over a dozen innocent people.
It was the time when Fazlur Rehman got the opportunity to get his demands met by the rulers and besides securing the ministerial portfolios of his choice. He also managed to get his concerns fully addressed on the PPO and National Internal Security Policy.
On the other hand, PPP legal minds had worked out the amendments in the PPO and most probably their job was done. Now the amended draft of the PPO would be tabled before the Senate after its clearance from the relevant standing committee, which would likely to meet in a next couple of days.
The meeting of Senate Standing Committee for Interior and Narcotics Control was deferred for a couple of times because the parties had not finalised their work on the proposed amendments in the PPO draft bill, the sources informed.
However, they quickly added that now as all the main stakeholders are on the same page the bill would be cleared by the committee in its upcoming meeting.
Right now joined by the six Senators of JUI-F and 39 MPs of PPP the ruling Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) would stand a comfortable figure of 61 in the house of 103 far ahead of the simple majority of 52 required to get the bill through.
Legal and constitutional experts said that ruling Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) would be needing to woo the support of the smaller parties in the Parliament on the bill.
A source in MQM informed that they would not let the bill passed from the Senate in its current shape and if the ruling PML-N managed to get it through with the support of PPP, they would exploit other options to get it revoked. PTI had decided to move the apex court against this bill soon after its passage from the national assembly, but later the move was deferred after the announcement from the government that it would re-consult the political parties on it.