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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) on Tuesday nominated Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl’s (JUI-F) Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri as its candidate for the slot of Senate deputy chairman.

A PDM’s special committee headed by former premier and its secretary general Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, which met here to finalize nomination of the candidates, also decided that the slot of leader of the opposition in Senate would be given to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

Elections for the chairman and deputy chairman Senate are scheduled on March 12 soon after the newly elected senators take oath.

PDM has already nominated former premier and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) senator-elect Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani as its candidate for the slot of chairman Senate who would face the outgoing chairman and joint candidate of the ruling alliance Sadiq Sanjrani.

According to a statement issued by PDM’s secretary information Mian Iftikhar Hussain, the committee which was tasked to finalize the nominees decided that JUI-F’s candidate would be consensus candidate of the opposition for the slot of deputy chairman Senate, while PML-N was given the slot of leader of the opposition in the Senate.

He further said the meeting also discussed the prevailing political situations of the country.

Meanwhile, talking to the media, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak said the government has offered JUI-F’s Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri the slot of deputy chairman Senate. However, he did not give further details.

In a statement later, Abdul Ghafoor Haideri clarified that no such offer was made to him by the government side. “I strongly condemn the statement of the government minister to the media. Any such offer by a government which the opposition does not even recognize, has no worth,” Haideri said.

He said the JUI-F is committed to whatever decision made by the PDM, adding that the “PDM is fully united.” He further clarified that senators from various political parties were in the meeting with outgoing chairman Senate Sanjrani, adding that ‘not any offer was made during the meeting.’

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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