ISLAMABAD - Further narrowing down the list of party’s candidates for the office of President of Pakistan, Muslim League (Nawaz) has presented the names of Sartaj Aziz, Saeeduz Zaman Siddiqui and Mamnoon Hussain to the opposition parties for evolving consensus on any of these names.

However, the chances of having a consensus presidential candidate diminished as the main opposition parties had come up with their own candidates for presidential elections. PML-N leader Kh. Asif had talked to Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed to seek his support for any of the PML-N potential candidates for the slot of president, the PPP leader told him that he would respond after consulting the party leadership and at the same time asked Kh. Asif to consider their candidate for the slot as consensus candidate. PPP had nominated Senator Mian Raza Rabbani as party candidate for the upcoming presidential elections. Similarly PTI and PML-Q had also come up with their own candidates for the slot of President of Pakistan. Sources in the PML-N informed The Nation that now the party was preparing its own strategy to contest the elections and hoped that whosoever would be nominated by the party high command would easily win the elections, especially in the face of sharp divide in the ranks of opposition parties which right now are poles apart and not ready to even listen to each other what to speak of bringing a unanimous opposition candidate for the slot.

Sources in PML-N said that though there was no formal decision of dropping out Iqbal Zafar Jhgra, Sardar Mehtab Abbassi and Syed Ghous Ali Shah from the race of getting the party’s nod to contest presidential elections but as majority of party leaders in the high-level meeting held under the chair of Mian Nawaz Sharif the other day came up in support of a couple of candidates from among the six short-listed for the slot of president, so it was assumed that the above-mentioned three left behind in the race. Sources in the party further said that Sartaj Aziz was the most favourite of all the six candidates and the next in line was Mamnoon Hussain and then come the rest of the short-listed ones. Sources further said that now the final decision on the party’s candidate would be taken in the light of the approval or disapproval from the allied parties on the short-listed candidates as Mian Nawaz Sharif wanted to have such a person in the slot of President of Pakistan who would have approval of majority of the political parties both within and outside the Parliament.

Sources further said that so far the things were leaning in favour of Sartaj Aziz but it could be anybody’s game as the formal response of the allied and opposition parties on these names is yet to come.