KARACHI - In the wake of failure to reach any agreement between ruling PPP and PML-Likeminded, the Senate elections will be held on 10 seats of the Upper House.

A total 12 senate seats were lying vacant in Sindh. However Advisor to PM on Finance and Revenue Affairs, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh and Barrister Dr. Muhammad Farogh Naseem of MQM had been elected unopposed on two technocrats’ seats officially as all other candidates had withdrawn their nomination papers. In this regard, Provincial Election Commissioner Sono Khan Baloch while addressing a press conference at his office on Friday declared Dr Hafeez Shaikh of PPP and Farogh Naseem of MQM as senators officially.

The Provincial Election Commissioner announced that a total 13 candidates will contest elections for remaining 10 senate seats in Sindh. A total 15 candidates for seven general seats of Senate filed their nomination papers, out of which 7 candidates withdrew their papers on last day of the withdrawal.

Total 8 candidates will contest for 7 general seats of the Senate in Sindh including four candidates of PPP Mian Raza Rabbani, Saeed Ghani, Dr. Karim Khawaja and Mukhtar alias Aajiz Dhamra and two candidates of the MQM former city nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal and Tahir Mashahdi, PML-F’s Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah and Abdul Ghaffar Qureshi of the PML-Likeminded.

A total of five candidates filed nomination papers for two reserved seats for women, of which two candidates withdrew their nominations. However, three candidates will contest for two seats of women including Mrs. Mudassir Saher Kamran of PPP, Nasreen Jalil of MQM and Yasmeen Farukh of PML-Likeminded. Similarly, two candidates will contest election for one Senate seat reserved for minorities in Sindh. Earlier, out of five, three withdrew their nomination papers for minorities. Hari Ram of PPP and Photomal alias Dileep of PML-Likeminded would contest for the reserved seat. The Provincial Election Commissioner said under the election rules, the candidates could retire till March 1 at noon, a day before Senate poll. Meanwhile, the negotiations have been failed between ruling PPP and PML-Likeminded group, which wither the hope of ruling PPP and its President Asif Ali Zardari, who wished to get all senators elected unopposed.

Former senator and leader of PML-Likeminded, Abdul Ghaffar Qureshi, who is candidate of his party for senate seat, while talking to the media at Election Commission office on Friday categorically said that he and two other candidates of his party would not withdraw their nomination papers. To a question, Mr. Qureshi disclosed that Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah and Federal Minister Syed Khurshid Shah had made contacts with Dr. Arbab Ghulam Rahim chief of PML-Likeminded in Dubai on Thursday but their group leader reminded the PPP leader to fulfil their promise made during last Senate polls.

Qureshi said that their party had not filed nomination papers in last senate elections due to the reconciliation policy of President Zardari. He said now it was time that the PPP should reciprocate their gesture by not contesting his seat. He said he also called on the PML-Q leader Ch. Shujaat Hussain who later on approached the PPP but its leaders also did not oblige the Ch. He claimed that Ch Shujat has assured them of support in senate elections on one seat in Sindh.

Ghaffar Qureshi said it was not their demand to nominate Arbab Ghulam Rahim as Opposition leader in Sindh Assembly. He said their group’s four MPAs have already submitted an application before the Speaker while they have also filed a petition before the Sindh High Court as it was their right to nominate Arbab as opposition leader since all other parties were part of the government.