Zardari for Makhdoom Shahabuddin as prime ministerial candidate

Published: June 20, 2012

Makhdum Shahabuddin's nominated by President for PM elections.

Makhdum Shahabuddin's nominated by President for PM elections. Decision on new leader of the house will be taken in larger national interest. PHOTO: REUTERS/ FILE

ISLAMABAD: Former Federal Textile Minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin’s name has been finalised by President Asif Ali Zardari as the Prime Ministerial nominee, Express News reported early Thursday morning.

Senior Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Raja Pervez Ashraf will file his nomination papers as a covering candidate.

Both will submit their nomination papers on Thursday.

According to Express News, Zardari disclosed Shahabuddin’s name during a meeting with a delegation of parliamentarians from Fata led by Hameedullah Jan Afridi. The President asked the delegation for their support in favour of Shahabuddin during the elections on Friday.

The president finalised the former textile minister’s name after unanimous consensus was reached among coalition partners and PPP Parliamentary members. They had earlier reposed full confidence in the president for deciding on candidates for the new prime minister.

Some of the other names believed to have come under consideration were that of senior PPP leader and former Water and Power Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar and former Religious Affairs Minister Khursheed Shah.

PML-N to field candidate?

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has also decided to back Sardar Mehtab Abbasi, provided their coalition parties also decide to throw their weight behind the PML-N candidate.

New Deputy Prime Minister post? 

Earlier in the evening on Wednesday, the PPP Parliamentary Party members meeting at the presidential palace had also discussed the creation of a post of Deputy Prime Minister. Since the Constitution has no provision for such a post, a presidential ordinance would be required for its creation. Though an approval from the Parliament will be sought, Express News reported late Wednesday night.

Rumors are rife that senior Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) leader Chaudhry Pervez Elahi is being considered for the post and has been asked to rush back from London, where he has been receiving medical treatment.
Sources say that the need for the post arose in light of the fact that any new elected prime minister might face the same fate as Gilani. In the absence of an incumbent, the Deputy Prime Minister would be required to ensure that state of affairs continue without disruptions.
It is expected that the new premier will be directed by the Supreme Court to write a letter to the Swiss government, asking them to re-open the graft case against President Zardari.

‘Election early next year’

In the meeting President Zardari had said that it has accepted the Supreme Court’s decision to disqualify the Prime Minister and said that general elections will be held early next year.

Addressing the meeting he had said the ruling party did not want confrontation among state institutions and will continue to work for strengthening democracy in the country.

Zardari said decision to nominate new Leader of the House in National Assembly will be taken in larger national interest and in consultation with the coalition partners.

President said the PPP accepted judgment of the Supreme Court despite its reservations and for the sake of democracy. He said next general elections will be held after eight months.

Parliamentary Party members reposed full confidence in leadership of President Zardari and authorised him to nominate new Leader of the House.

Former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, who also attended the meeting said he worked according to the Constitution and the law. “I would continue to serve the masses and the country to the best of my capacity. I remained loyal to the party.”

Gilani had been disqualified as prime minister by the Supreme Court while hearing an appeal against the Speaker National Assembly ruling that the former prime minister’s membership of the house was not void following conviction, and summary sentencing for contempt of court. Gilani was adjudged to have committed contempt by disregarding SC orders to write letters to the Swiss courts to reopen cases closed under the national reconciliation ordinance (NRO).

Reader Comments (44)

  • QB
    Jun 20, 2012 - 11:32PM

    Dear Mr. Gilani and Mr. Zardari — please stop serving the masses to the “best of your capacity”. It generally doesn’t work out well for us !!!

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  • Mirza
    Jun 20, 2012 - 11:34PM

    This is a good, pragmatic and mature decision by the ruling party. The only way to control the enemies of democracy is to get a fresh vote of confidence and start afresh. They should go into the elections as a secular alliance with seat adjustment.

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  • Hedgefunder
    Jun 20, 2012 - 11:44PM

    Did he really have any choice ? Why wait till next year for Elections? Its not a case, that the economy is booming or likely to improve !
    So, why is Zardari so keen to prolong the Nation’s poblems, which his Govt has not been able to solve and yet wants to cling to the chair?
    Perhaps, he is under illusion that the people of Pakistan will give him mandate for 5 years of same !
    Perhaps its Nostalgia of being first elected Govt to complete their term in the Office in Pakistan since its inception !!!Recommend

  • ayesha azeem
    Jun 20, 2012 - 11:47PM

    & You’ll lose it Mr.Zardari Because Imran Khan will win INSHALLAH..

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  • Logic Europe
    Jun 20, 2012 - 11:54PM

    the best decision for PPP. I I think supreme court is acting in Zardar advice
    to remove the prime minister is a boon for ZARDARI He will only gain more votes and will win next election wiping out PMLN and leave a few scraps for Imran khan

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Jun 21, 2012 - 12:00AM

    SC verdict for disqualifying convicted PM Gilani was the first drop of the rain.

    There are number of political cases pending before the SC and sooner or later verdict in each case will be delivered by the SC.

    The nation knows capability of the PPP government. I am writing in plain words that PPP government was given the mandate to serve the masses but it completely failed to deliver what people of Pakistan were expecting from PPP.

    The less is written, much is said.

    For me PPP is “Party of Particular Prisoners” and nothing more.

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  • Jun 21, 2012 - 12:01AM

    Would you please stop ‘serving us’ already?

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  • khan
    Jun 21, 2012 - 12:02AM

    @Hedgefunder: he has got some pending “issues” still to be resolved

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  • Hairaan
    Jun 21, 2012 - 12:08AM

    Parliamentary Party members reposed full confidence in leadership of President Zardari and authorized him to nominate new Leader of the House.

    I believe the word “President” in this sentence should rightly be replaced with “PPP co-Chairman”.

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  • ...
    Jun 21, 2012 - 12:10AM

    This is the only good thing the PPP has done for the country in the past five years…

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  • reformer
    Jun 21, 2012 - 12:49AM

    Who cares

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  • azmat khan
    Jun 21, 2012 - 12:52AM

    @QB:
    what does work good for you? martial law?Recommend

  • Ch Allah Daad
    Jun 21, 2012 - 1:03AM

    Delay it for another five years. Imran is not yet ready..

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  • Ch Allah Daad
    Jun 21, 2012 - 1:20AM

    Who is this Makhdum? Is he from PTI, that nobody knows him.

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Jun 21, 2012 - 1:21AM

    Makhdoom Shabuddin will also NOT write letter to Swiss Authorities.

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  • Ordinary Villager
    Jun 21, 2012 - 1:27AM

    One Makhdoom gone and another in…….

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  • amna
    Jun 21, 2012 - 1:30AM

    so when is he leaving?
    mr.zardari u must make a list nw, as the very same reason gillani isnt on seat, soon this man vill be :D

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  • Jun 21, 2012 - 1:30AM

    Former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, who also attended the meeting said he worked according to the Constitution and the law. “I would continue to serve the masses and the country to the best of my capacity. I remained loyal to the party.
    Mr. Gillani, according to the oath of an elected person he/she has to be loyal to the people of Pakistan irrespective of his party, color, caste & creed.

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  • Logic Europe
    Jun 21, 2012 - 1:36AM

    A winning move bt the great maestro ZARDARI
    an excellent choice, let us show some respect Mr Imran khan will be shown his position

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  • Tch tch
    Jun 21, 2012 - 2:01AM

    Oh that explains PTV sudden long winded explanations on the Ephedrine scam…..lol

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  • dou
    Jun 21, 2012 - 2:10AM

    If you are such big torch-bearers of democracy, why dont you hold early elections and see what the people really want? The fact is you are an accidental president of a party that won the 2008 elections accidentaly!

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  • elementary
    Jun 21, 2012 - 2:16AM

    NRO alliance can not last long now.

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  • geeko
    Jun 21, 2012 - 2:22AM

    That face screams honesty.

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  • ayesha_khan
    Jun 21, 2012 - 2:36AM

    @Mirza: “This is a good, pragmatic and mature decision by the ruling party. The only way to control the enemies of democracy is to get a fresh vote of confidence and start afresh”.

    It does not look like the PResident is looking to order a fresh election. It looks like he is seeking to complete the term.

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  • basit abasi
    Jun 21, 2012 - 2:37AM

    dekhain jee. This political and juditial circus, has been there in pakistan and will remain to be so. It is done for the lust of power and/or wealth. Nothing other than that. They done care for pakistan or about us. because we honestly dont care about overselves in the first place. Like the polititians, we the pakistani public have made a circus of our social life, ethics, morality and religion as an institution. What make you think that our leaders will fair better. Since we refuse to change our selves, we will continue to get such sorry leaders. pakistan zinda baad!

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  • Muhammad.
    Jun 21, 2012 - 2:39AM

    Pakistan is a tough country. We have survived through a lot of terrible things. I am not too sure if we’ll be able to go on if raja pervaiz and pervaiz elahi become pm and deputy pm respectively. Please Allah, we’ve been through enough. Please forgive us, have mercy on us and protect us from the ”SHARR” of such shrewd politicians.

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  • Ali Abbas
    Jun 21, 2012 - 2:41AM

    One crook replaced by another crook by the biggest crook so that the khaki crooks stays in barracks and the black gowns crooks can be placated. Meanwhile, how many people disappeared, murdered, unemployed, exploited, raped, lied to?

    The whole system needs a reset – who will do it?

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  • Avatar
    Jun 21, 2012 - 2:48AM

    Good choice by PPP, he is a decent and veteran politician. The drug case against him just popped up as soon as he got nominated, ironic and as for the judiciary soon it will be the soverign body in Pakistan and rule the country, abolishing the parliament in the process. jokers lol

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  • bayareaguy
    Jun 21, 2012 - 2:48AM

    Supreme Court has already asked NAB/FIA why Makhdoom Shahabudin had not been arrested, being the minister responsible for releasing excess amount on Affedrin case. So let’s see what happen first, his arrest on corruption charges or his disqualification as MNA for 5 yrs ;)
    btw I don’t understand the logic of having a deputy PM on the reasoning of imminent disqualification because the moment PM is gone, cabinet stands dissolved automatically. It looks like this is another advice from Rs100 lawyer.

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  • Ali
    Jun 21, 2012 - 3:11AM

    Is this the same Raja Pervez Ashraf who killed of the Kala Bagh dam?
    Make him president, please do! I think he can finish electricity production on our country in 90 days.

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  • Umer Baloch
    Jun 21, 2012 - 3:15AM

    Good decision, Agli Baari Phir Zardari ;) :D

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  • Saqibtahir
    Jun 21, 2012 - 3:17AM

    @Mohammad Ali Siddiqui:
    PPP and allies are the only moderate political force left in the country. With the right wing vote split between Shreefs, Imran and Mullas, PPP is likely to emerge the largest party in next election as well. Just v8 & C.

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  • Jun 21, 2012 - 3:18AM

    @Logic Europe:
    “A winning move bt the great maestro ZARDARI”
    .
    You have to give it to him. He is a smooth operator. Whenever cornered, he sacrificed one of his pieces, while they themselves remained loyal to him till the last moment. Hats off to the maestro.

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  • m.b.f.h.
    Jun 21, 2012 - 3:28AM

    Dear President,
    totally understand the kind of “brain storming” you and your team went through recently. But that’s what PPP brain is good at isn’t it? You are thrown the ball you are skilled in, right?Congratulations on choosing new premier and also for the idea of his deputy. I wish the enemy had given you more time to use such a marvelous brain for developmental ideas for the nation in general, but that’s what real life is all about__ a circus. I suggest the use of the analogy of “A Circus” for your Sir for next brain storming episode to plan unbelievable somersaults in mid-air or shoot arrows at while avoiding harming the girl strapped on the turning wheel when you are riding a fast horse.

    I used to miss those old time circuses, but not anymore. I am really amused and awe-struck by ever new surprises coming out of the PPP’s master-players’ hats. Bravo! Sir!
    No offense meant for competitors/opposition or any. Pakistan: Pa.inda.bad!
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  • rkfromny
    Jun 21, 2012 - 3:49AM

    makh doom..??? doomed……!!!!

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  • Jun 21, 2012 - 4:02AM

    The courts normally keep in mind that their decisions do not disrupt political and administrative momentum.But we are a different breed.

    Supreme court did not disqualify Gilani ab initio. The punishment was to remain in the court till the court rises.That has been changed and new punishment applied retrospectively.That is justice oriental style !

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  • saeed
    Jun 21, 2012 - 4:04AM

    difference between democracy and dictatorship is quite obvious

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  • dr j tipu
    Jun 21, 2012 - 4:13AM

    raja pervez ashraf, you mean the billionaire fraud?? oh the one who was taken off the ministry for water and power after mega corruption scandals??lol

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  • Evolved
    Jun 21, 2012 - 9:34AM

    I think Martial Law will serve us better because we have already seen that wish of the people is not being accomplished in parliament and secondly, those who get selected doesn’t represent the masses as the turn outs in elections is not more than 25%. Thirdly those who are elected doesn’t come through fair means. Lastly our politicians are the most corrupt and they are responsible for the current situation in this country. Don’t you think that Pervaiz Musharaf was far better and patriotic Pakistani then these dual national corrupt guys who are likely to leave u with packing of plundered money to other countries the next day they are not elected. Pakistanis don’t cry at me because I am not democratic and doesn’t believe in rhetoric only. Pakistan is our mother and we have o protect it.

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  • Yusuf
    Jun 21, 2012 - 12:22PM

    Makhdoom Shabuddin Excellent Choice For Prime Minister. Makhdoom Shabuddin Will Be Greatly Welcome By People of Pakistan As He Is A Well Balanced and A Rational Man.

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  • ali gilani
    Jun 21, 2012 - 1:38PM

    President Zardari was forced to elicit resignation from Mr. Gilani, so why everybody is saying as though he had planned it that way? Prime Minister Gilani was a great PM, we, with some help from media are not informed about positive traits he’d shown during last four years. Everybody is blindly talking about corruption, the fact is almost all people of this country are corrupt, they have created so many different ways to get juice out of this huge system, mostly people in power at the grass root level, like police officials, patwarees, etc. PML(N)/PTI has used this phenomenon for their political gains. They, with the help from a corrupt “so called” judge, are able to make the impression that every little anomoly is created by the president.

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  • Avatar
    Jun 21, 2012 - 2:09PM

    Pakistanis are habituated for constant dictactorship for almost 25 years. Democracy is new for them, difficult to digest. At least people can choose their ruler not like marshal law administrator, But pakistani are born to be live under a dictctor. Like Moghul kings, Changez khan and Mohd Bin Kasim persons. They do not know the fruits of democracy. They suppressed democratically elected leader of east Pakistan in 1970-71. Bandar kya jane adrak ka swad.

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  • Jun 21, 2012 - 2:56PM

    To appoint a Deputy PM is a very wise move. This will guarantee a smoother transfer of power without any noticeable delay in running matters of the state.
    .
    To enhance the fail-safe process for the transfer of power, a Vice Presidential post should be created. The VP could participate in securities briefings without having the power to veto. His duties should mainly be in unburdening the busy president, like attending inaugural ceremonies visiting schools, and areas having suffered catastrophes etc, as the President may be busy with other important tasks.
    .
    The VP, should be provided his own plane called, Air Force 2.

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  • m.b.f.h.
    Jun 21, 2012 - 9:18PM

    My earlier comments were in praise of the Current Government and not the opposite. Our courts still have a long way to go to accept democracy as a means of government. As long as the Court Conscience following a pattern similar to an Asian Father figure there is little we can hope for democracy. Why? Because the harsh discipline of the Army & the Perfect Obedience of a Muslim is what court expects and is used-to. And so courts decisions will reflect the local decisions strict fathers are making for their children we see in papers. Pak paper daily stories are proof, “Mercy” is not a favorite word for proud father of our culture.

    The "Democracy" don't means much to our people. They are used to strict father at home and Marshal Law resembles that___ one man decide the fate of millions. On the other hand democracy is like a "happy marriage" where more than one person use slow process of taking everybody opinions for compromise, including lot of back-&-forth talk before deciding their fate. Of course Gillani was master of such compromise, even his enemy respected him for that. Now all the educated who are happy will regret one day for their blindness when history books will prove the folly by SC as a Dark Day in the history of an struggling democracy. But for one-man-show institutions: So what? There is nothing wrong with Iron fist rule or Marshal law for that matter, they say.
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