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ISLAMABAD: The ruling coalition government is yet to appoint governors in Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa due to continued deadlock among the coalition partners on nominations for the constitutional positions in the provinces.

Both the constitutional positions have been vacant since April 11, 2022 following the appointees of former Prime Minister Imran Khan – Imran Ismail in Sindh and Shah Farman in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa –tendered their resignations in the wake of removal of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government through the no-confidence motion on April 9.

Since then the Speakers of the two provincial assemblies have been serving as acting governors as per the Constitution.

Background interviews with senior leaders within the ruling coalition revealed that although almost five months have passed since the coalition government assumed charge a consensus has yet to be reached on the replacements of governors in the two provinces.

In Sindh, Prime Minster Shehbaz Sharif gave his final consent to give the coveted slot to Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) and consequently the party nominated Nasreen Jalil for the constitutional office in the province.

However, a PML-N leader who wished not to be named said that the notification of Nasreen Jalil’s appointment was put on hold following a well-launched campaign against her citing a 2015 letter she had purportedly written to Indian High Commission in Islamabad on alleged “lawlessness” created by the law enforcement agencies in Sindh, particularly in Karachi.

Syed Amin-ul-Haq, a senior MQM-Q leader and Minister for Information Technology, on September 22 told media that his party had forwarded the name of Nasreen Jalil and “very soon” the governorship of the province would be given to the MQM-P.

Unlike Sindh, the deadlock continues between the collation partners, including Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) and Awami National Party (ANP) on nomination of a governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Sources within PML-N said that a decision was taken to appoint senior ANP leader Mian Iftikhar Hussain as the governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, but the decision was put on hold following JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s opposition as he sought his younger brother’s nomination for the position.

Sources told Business Recorder that both PML-N and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) had thrown their weight behind ANP’s Mian Iftikhar Hussain in recognition of his struggle for democracy, as well as, in the fight against terrorism.

When contacted, ANP spokesperson Zahid Khan said that his party is no longer interested in the slot of Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and questioned the continued delay in making the appointment on the constitutional post.

“As we are no longer interested to hold the slot, now it’s up to the Prime Minister to take a decision and appoint whoever he considers suitable as governor in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” he said, adding that the continued delay on making the appointment is incomprehensible.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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