ISLAMABAD: As the National Assembly convenes today (on Monday) to elect prime minister after Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz president Shehbaz Sharif and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf vice chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Sunday filed their nomination papers, the PTI seems divided over its erstwhile decision of en masse resignations by its lawmakers.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz President Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Shaif and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Vice-Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Sunday submitted nomination papers for the new Leader of the House in National Assembly.
Shehbaz Sharif himself submitted his nomination papers as a joint candidate of the opposition parties, while those of Shah Mehmood Qureshi were submitted on his behalf by his son Zain Qureshi, and MNAs Aamir Dogar and Malika Bukhari as the candidate of PTI and its allies.
The deadline for submission of nomination papers was 2 pm (April 10), while their scrutiny process was made by 3 pm.
While the cabinet division de-notified 52 members of the federal cabinet — 25 federal ministers, four ministers of state, four advisers to the PM and 19 special assistants to the PM — after the historic vote of no-confidence by the joint opposition against ex-premier Imran Khan, Mr Sharif having bright chances to make it to the top slot said the new cabinet would be formed only after consultation with all allies. As the PTI core committee remained indecisive in a meeting chaired by Mr Khan on Sunday whether to go for en masse resignations of MNAs or not, the party chairman called the parliamentary party meeting at the Parliament House at 12 noon on Monday to make a final decision. Whether Mr Qureshi will contest the election for the premiership or will resign along with other MNAs of the PTI and its allies depends on the outcome of the PTI parliamentary meeting.
However, the PTI decided to give a tough time to the upcoming government through street protests if the PML-N won the contest in the parliament for which voting would begin at 2pm.
On the other hand, Mr Sharif met the leadership of the Pakistan People’s Party and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam and discussed the political situation. While all the parties kept their cards close to chest about the composition of the new cabinet, sources said PPP leader Naveed Qamar was the strongest candidate for the slot of National Assembly speaker, PML-N leaders Marriyum Aurangzeb and Rana Sanaullah could get the portfolios of information and interior ministries, respectively.