ISLAMABAD - Pakistan People’s Party leadership in consultation with its coalition partners nominated Leader of House in Senate, Syed Nayyar Hussain Bokhari, and Senator Sabir Baloch for the candidature of Chairman and Deputy Chairman Senate respectively.

Presidential spokesman confirmed that Syed Nayyar Hussain Bokhari and Senator Sabir Baloch were nominated as coalition government’s candidates for the slots of Chairman and Deputy Chairman in Senate.

The consultative meeting of heads of coalition partners was held under the chair of President Asif Ali Zardari at Awan-I-Sadr. Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani was also present on the occasion.

The names of Bokhari and Baloch were presented in the meeting by President Asif Ali Zardari himself and sought the approval of the coalition partners. None of the coalition partners or any senior PPP leader had raised any objection for which the President Zardari, who is also the co-chairman of the party, thanked the heads of coalition parties.

Both the newly nominated candidates were the veterans of Pakistan People’s Party who had started their political career as the lieutenants of the founding chairman of the party Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. Both of them stayed with the party in every thick and thin and braved the hardships of the successive dictatorial regimes of Gen Ziaul Haq and Gen Pervez Musharraf, but nothing could shatter their unflinching stand with the Bhutto’s ideology.

Sources in the party informed that Core Committee of the Pakistan People’s Party had already empowered party Co-Chairman President Asif Ali Zardari to take final decision for the coalition government’s candidates for the slots of Chairman and Deputy Chairman Senate in consultation with the coalition partners.

Some senior party leaders in the initial party meetings held at Awan-I-Sadr suggested the name of Syed Nayyar Hussain Bokhari to replace incumbent Chairman Senate Farooq H Naek, as they wanted to see a strong party worker on the most powerful slot of chairman Senate ahead of next general elections.

Similarly it was decided from day first that deputy chairman Senate would be taken from Balochistan but despite requests from PML-Q and ANP the PPP leadership had brought one of the party’s loyalists on the slot. The head of his own faction of Balochistan National Party, Mir Israr Ullah Zahari, and the FATA Senators group leader, Munir Khan Orakzai, had also expressed their desire to have deputy chairman Senate slot at initial discussion but after half a dozen party meetings and sessions the PPP leadership come up with the decision to retain both these slots within the party and would accommodate the coalition partners in some other way by accommodating them in the federal cabinet and the parliamentary committees.

The nomination of the hardcore party activists for these top parliamentary slots gave a healthy message among the party ranks and files that affiliation and services to the party would ultimately pay.

A source in the PPP informed that initially President Zardari wanted to continue with incumbent chairman Senate for another three years term but he had to bow to the growing opposition within the party against Naek who, according to the hardcore party activists and leaders, had fallen short of the party’s expectations at the time when President Zardari was in Dubai for heart treatment while as Acting President Farooq H Naek kept mum and not uttered even a single word in support of the co-chairman or the party.

Leader of the House in Senate Syed Nayyar Hussain Bokhari is one of the founding members of the party. He is also chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Judges Appointment and had impeccable political career with PPP.

Similarly Senator Sabir Baloch, who hailed from Balochistan, was also one of the close confederates of late Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto who stayed loyal and committed to the political philosophy of Bhutto and for the cause of democracy and party had went behind the bars during the dictatorial regimes of Gen. Ziaul Haq and Gen. Pervez Musharraf.

Besides President and Prime Minister the meeting was also attended by PML-Q President Ch. Shujaat Hussain, Mushahid Hussain Syed, Mir Israrullah Zahari, Asfandyar Wali Khan, Babar Ghouri, Tahir Mashadi, Munir Orakzai, Engineer Shoukatullah, Syed Khurshid Shah, Syed Nayyar Hussain Bokhari and Raja Pervaiz Ashraf.