While PML-N has nominated the unassuming and obliging Mamnoon Hussain – ex governor Sindh as its candidate for the presidential race for very obvious reasons, the PPP is trying to project the no nonsense and the chief architect of the landmark 18th amendment - Senator Raza Rabbani as a joint opposition candidate for the August 6, Presidential Elections. PML-N doesn’t enjoy a clear cut majority for its nominee and would have to depend upon its allies, some of whom could have other designs. PML-Q’s Ch Shujaat Hussain has already announced in the accompaniment of the PPP stalwarts including Sen. Raza Rabbani withdrawal of their candidate Mushahid Hussain from the race. The ever shrewd and highly opportunist MFR of the JUI-F has stated that though his party sits on the treasury benches yet, they can ‘consider’ the option of supporting a jointly acceptable candidate, thus indicating obliquely once again his willingness to bargain.

If the MQM and the PTI forget their differences in the larger interest of the state, things could be different altogether. All said and done and though I have little love for PPP I would opt for Senator Raza Rabbani as the most suitable candidate for the office of the President. Firstly, he comes from a smaller province, secondly, though the president is supposed to be a non partisan and strictly neutral and person who doesn’t have much power, yet his associations with the present opposition would act as a counter balance and not give a free hand to the PML-N government, which is so essential for good governance and democracy in the country. Thirdly, he is honest and sincere a rare brand of combination of qualities not found in most of our present day leaders.

COL. RIAZ JAFRI (RETD),

Rawalpindi, July 23.