KARACHI: President Asif Ali Zardari has asked his party leadership in Sindh to consolidate relations with coalition partners in the province and step up efforts to win seats at the upcoming Senate elections ‘unopposed’.
The president made the statement while presiding over a meeting of Pakistan Peoples Party cabinet members at Bilawal House on Monday. Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah and his cabinet members also briefed the president on the progress in their departments.
During the meeting Zardari directed Shah and other senior members of the party to repeat the work they did during the last Senate elections in 2009. Eleven candidates from Sindh are expected to retire on March 12. The elections for the vacant seats will be held on March 2.
Sources told The Express Tribune that the PPP has chalked out its strategy for the upcoming election: to elect eight senators to general, women and minority seats, with four seats reserved for coalition partners. “The MQM is likely to get three seats and the PML-F one,” sources said, adding that negotiations are already under way between coalition leaders.
After the meeting, Sindh Information Minister Shazia Marri told the media that, among the president’s business with government departments, he had directed them to make the Wasila Haq programme for poor families successful in the province.
When asked about the resolution tabled by Marsoor Jatoi in the Sindh Assembly, Marri said: “Jatoi has not been opposing the creation of new provinces. But only has reservations about article 239 (4).
The committees constituted by the speaker will look into the matter and report within a couple of weeks,” she said.
During the meeting the president was also briefed on water and sewerage schemes in the provinces. Nadir Magsi, the minister for food, who has been given task of monitoring the post-flood situation, told Zardari that there were some gaps in the rehabilitation process, which according to him were being redressed.
PML-F leader Mumtaz Shaikh also held a meeting with the president and conveyed a message from his party’s chief Sibghatullah Rashdi. According to sources, the main order of the day – the Senate elections – was also discussed between the two.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 31st, 2012.
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