In a rather surprising move, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has offered the coveted slot of the Senate deputy chairman to Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) leader Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri.
According to Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, the government has no problem with Haideri as its nominee for the top slot. He made these remarks in a conversation with reporters after a meeting with the JUI-F leader. Incumbent Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani also attended the meeting.
Haideri, while talking to the reporters, termed this a routine meeting with “his [Senate] chairman”.
In a response to a question about his nomination by the Pakistan Democratic Movement, the JUI-F leader said that the PDM leadership hasn’t informed him of the decision yet. Haideri, who is also the JUI-F general secretary, said that he cannot comment on who would win the Senate chairmanship.
The elections for the coveted slots of Senate chairman and deputy chairman are slated to be held on March 12 and the opposition is contesting these polls jointly. It has already nominated Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Yousaf Raza Gillani as its candidate for the Senate chairman seat.
It may be noted here that the government has decided to support incumbent Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani for the top slot. It has yet to announce its nominee for the deputy chairman slot, however.