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Zardari shares his 'little secret' with MPs
March 10, 2008 17:03 IST
In a fresh twist to the squabbling in Pakistan People's Party over the post of prime minister, party chairman Asif Ali Zardari has apparently said that an interim premier will be named for a three-month period till he enters parliament and can take over the job.
Zardari shared his 'little secret' with parliamentarians from Hyderabad in Sindh province on the eve of the crucial meeting between him and Pakistan Muslim League-N chief Nawaz Sharif in Murree on Sunday, The News reported on Monday.
Sharif and Zardari finalised plans to form a coalition government during their meeting.
Zardari said he had decided to become prime minister in three months and till then, an interim prime minister would be appointed from Punjab, the newspaper quoted PPP sources as saying.
Makhdoom Amin Fahim, the front-runner for the top job who was apparently facing resistance from Zaradari, admitted that he had heard from PPP members about the chairman's decision but refused to comment till he spoke to him directly about the issue.
"I am also not making any comment on this development as Asif Zardari is not a member of Parliament," Fahim said.
Zardari had announced shortly after Bhutto's assassination in December last year that his wife had wanted Fahim to be the party's prime ministerial candidate.
However, he changed his mind soon after and talked about a prime minister from Punjab and senior PPP leaders Yousaf Raza Gillani, Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar were tipped to be in the race.
In his meeting with MPs from Sindh, according to sources, Zardari said he knew that people from the province wanted a prime minister from Sindh.
Keeping their aspirations in mind, he had decided to first nominate a prime minister from Punjab for three months and then he would elevate himself to the post, the sources said.
He also sought the opinion of newly elected parliamentarian Fahmida Mirza on the issue. Mirza endorsed his strategy.
But another MP, Nawab Yousaf Talpur, told Zardari that Fahim was a good leader and should be made the prime minister for the interim period.