ISLAMABAD - The top PPP leadership could not gather on same page on the selection of the new Senate Chairman and his deputy here at Presidency Wednesday night.
Sources said that President Asif Ali Zardari wanted to continue with the incumbent Chairman Senate for the next three years but could not withstand the tide in the party leadership against Chairman Farooq H. Naik who according to them, had fallen far below the expectation of the party in the trying times on party when the President was abroad in connection with his heart ailment and instead of boosting the party’s morale Farooq kept mum and not uttered even a single word in support of the party leadership.
The sources said that Senator-elect Raza Rabbani was annoyed over the preposition of making him Leader of the House in Senate in case the incumbent Leader of the House is made Senate chief as he (Rabbani) considered himself as the most deserving candidate for the slot of Chairman Senate and previously kicked the slot of Leader of House in Senate when he was ignored for the slot of Chairman Senate and Farooq Naik was given the position.
The sources further said that till now a few names were under consideration for the slot of Chairman Senate and among the contenders Syed Nayyar Hussain Bokhari and Farhatullah Khan Babar are considered quite strong.
The sources said that President Zardari wanted to continue with Farooq but as the party leaders were quite vocal against him in the party meetings held at Awan-I-Sadr in the recent past the President may not go with his wish and would most likely to place a man of his trust in place keeping in view the significance of the position and everyone knew it well that after Naek the most trusted person in the Senate would be Farhatullah.
Although the coalition partners have authorized the President to take a final decision on the appointment of Chairman and Deputy Chairman Senate, but at the same time they had expressed their desires regarding these slots and PPP had to keep their views into consideration.
The sources further informed that in the meeting at Presidency late Wednesday night Syed Khurshid Shah, Mian Raza Rabbani, Farooq Naik, Islamuddin Sheikh, Syed Nayyar Hussain Bokhari and a few other leaders were in attendance.
For the slot of Deputy Chairman Senate it was decided in principle that the slot would be filled from Balochistan and now the matter would be between Fateh Moahmmad Hasni and Sabir Baloch both the members from ruling PPP from Balochistan.
President Asif Ali Zardari have personal liking for Fateh Mohammad Hasni but on the other hand Sabir Baloch was having the edge of staying loyal to the party in hard times.
Sources further said that in the meeting with coalition partners at Presidency a couple of days back President Asif Ali Zardari had discussed the matter in detail and all of the coalition parties heads had authorized President Zardari to take final decision in this connection.
Now after finalizing the names of to fill the slots of both Chairman and Deputy Chairman Senate President Asif Ali Zardari would again be meeting with coalition partners on 10th of this month to get formal approval from the coalition partners.
Sources in the party informed that in the coalition partners meeting President Zardari had given tacit understanding to them that he would accommodate them in the standing committees of the Upper House as well as in Federal Cabinet for forgoing their stake on the slot of Deputy Chairman Senate, as besides Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid) and Awami National Party(ANP), Mir Israrullah Khan Zahari, the head of Balochistan National Party(Awami) President and FATA Senators group also desired to have the slot of Deputy Chairman Senate.
A source in the Awami National Party informed The Nation that they had not made any formal request for the slot of Deputy Chairman Senate but the party head Asfandyar Wali Khan had just expressed his party’s interest in the slot of Deputy Chairman keeping in view that ANP has become the second largest Parliamentary Party in the ruling alliance in Upper House of the Parliament with 12 Senators.