Former chief minister, Arbab Ghulam Rahim, is indecisive about joining Pakistan Muslim Leauge - Nawaz and has shared a frigid relationship with the Pakistan Peoples Party. What moves he plans to make on the political chessboard are still shrouded in mystery, but his intentions are set to get clearer today as he will launch his election campaign with a public meeting.
“We will show our strength and will fully participate in the elections,” said Rahim, the Pakistan Muslim League- Like-minded (PML-L) chief, while talking to the media at the Hyderabad airport on Tuesday. Thousands of supporters welcomed him at the airport, dancing enthusiastically to folk music.
Rahim is scheduled to meet a Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) delegation before addressing the rally. “I will hold negotiations for becoming a part of the 10-party alliance in Sindh.” If the two sides reach an agreement, an announcement will be made at a joint press conference held with PML-F leader Pir Pagara.
Rahim, however, is mulling possible electoral alliances with the other parties, especially the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). He said he is open to making a seat adjustment with MQM. His party PML-L, an offshoot of Pakistan Muslim League - Quaid, was formed after the general elections in 2008. It wields strong influence in Tharparkar and parts of Umerkot and Mirpurkhas.
Rahim disapproved of appointment of the caretaker prime minister by the Election Commission of Pakistan, saying political parties should have taken the decision instead. He added that the caretaker setup should have been decided a month ago.
Interestingly, Rahim spared PPP and Sindh caretaker chief minister of criticism. “I haven’t still heard anything bad about the caretaker chief minister.”
Published in The Express Tribune, March 27th, 2013.
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