Next PM’s name in 24 hrs: Report – World News Today!
In the aftermath of Yousuf Raza Gilani’s disqualification from the premier’s office by the Supreme Court on Tuesday, President Asif Ali Zardari disregarded the option of early general elections and said that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) will announce the name of the new prime minister within 24 hours, DawnNews reported.
The meeting of coalition partners of the government was held at the President’s House. President Zardari has recommended the names of Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, Makhdoom Shahabuddin, Hina Rabbani Khar and Khursheed Shah for the premier’s office in front of the members of the meeting, sources said.
However, sources said that Shahabuddin was emerged the strongest contender for the post. Shahabuddin, who belongs to the Seraiki belt in the southern part of Punjab province, has held several portfolios in Gilani’s cabinet since 2008. PPP insiders told PTI that former Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar was also being considered seriously for the post of premier.
However, Shahabuddin is seen as the stronger candidate in view of the PPP’s plans to carve a new province out of the southern part of Punjab, sources said.
Besides the top leadership of the PML-Q, a key ally of the PPP, are opposed to Mukhtar due to political rivalries in Punjab, the sources added. During a revamp of Gilani’s cabinet in February last year, Shahabuddin was tipped to be sworn in as the Foreign Minister. However, the party changed its plans after Shah Mahmood Qureshi skipped the swearing-in ceremony on learning that he would not be reallocated the Foreign Ministry. Like Gilani, Shahabuddin belongs to a spiritual family that is the custodian of the mausoleum of the Sufi saint Shah Rukn-e-Alam.
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