ISLAMABAD - In a complete reversal of its position for the third consecutive time within a span of three days on the election of chairman and deputy chairman Senate, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan Saturday announced that his party was ready to support the candidate of Pakistan People’s Party for the slot of deputy chairman Senate.

PTI Chairman Imran Khan made this announcement indirectly while addressing a joint press conference at Khyber Pakhtunkhwa House along with Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo.

Earlier, PTI leadership, including KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak held a meeting with Bizenjo who heads the group of independent senators-elect from Balochistan.

A day earlier, the PTI chairman had outrightly ruled out the possibility of supporting any PPP-nominated candidate for the top two Senate slots. Imran had said that PTI would not vote for any candidate of PML-N and PPP for these slots as “shaking hands with PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari and his likes would be tantamount to contradicting the party’s 22 years long struggle against corruption.”

Changing his stance on Saturday, Imran said that his party was ready to vote a panel of nominees of the CM Balochistan and that includes a PPP candidate for the position of deputy chairman.

The CM Balochistan on the occasion said they had suggested two names of independent senators-elect from the province, Anwarul Haq Kakar and Sadiq Sanjrani, to the PTI for the slot of chairman Senate. The two names emerged after Bizenjo’s back to back meetings with the leadership of PPP and PTI.

In his presser, Imran Khan at first avoided to categorically mention his support for PPP’s nominee for deputy chairman slot. When asked if his party would support deputy chairman of PPP, he said: “The CM Balochistan has requested us to support whole panel for the slot of chairman and deputy chairman Senate…all senators of PTI would vote for the panel.”  He further said that PTI had been assured that chairman senate would be nominated from amongst the six independent senators from Balochistan.

PTI Chief Imran Khan said his party wanted to give representation to FATA by electing deputy chairman hailing from that area but now the CM Balochistan had requested them that for a bigger consensus PTI should support anyone he (Bizenjo) would suggest.

Imran Khan said it would be first time in the country’s parliamentary history that Senate chairman would be elected from the most deprived province of Pakistan.

Bizenjo on the occasion thanked both the PTI and PPP leadership saying it became possible after the PTI chief gave him a free hand by placing support of his all 13 senators at his disposal. “Credit goes to Imran Khan as after his offer, we are in a position to properly negotiate with other political parties, including the PPP,” he said. He also appreciated PPP for surrendering its chairman Senate candidate for the sake of Balochistan although it had strength of 20 senators in the house.

Bizenjo hoped that all other parties would support their panel especially those having representation from Balochistan, including Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), National Party, JUI-F, and others.

Soon after the press conference, a spokesperson of PTI in a statement said that PTI would support the panel of independent senators-elect of Balochistan. PTI will support the nominee of this panel for the slot of deputy chairman irrespective of the fact that it belonged to PPP or any other political party, the statement said.