Benazir eyeing major stake in Pak interim government

November 14th, 2007 - 2:39 am ICT by admin  
Benazir’s representatives have put forward the demands pertaining to the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) share in the interim set up, a source told The News.

They have placed their demand with the aides of President General Pervez Musharraf, the source added.

Musharraf will appoint a Prime Minister, three provincials Chief Ministers and nearly 30 ministers in their cabinets for the interim set up that will supervise the upcoming parliamentary polls.

The PPP has also demanded replacement of the four provincial governors with its nominees to ensure free, fair and transparent elections.

Musharraf is reluctant to remove the governors on the ground that they would not have much to do with the general polls as the interim set-ups to be headed by the chief ministers would be largely responsible for overseeing the electoral process, the source said.

The General has rather assured the PPP that the governors would be non-partisan as they had been.

He also told the PPP that Sindh Governor Ishratul Ebad, a cardholder of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), too, would remain unbiased.

The source further said that primarily Benazir would like to have choice of representatives in the Punjab and Sindh provinces because these two federating units would play a decisive role in the formation of the federal and two provincial governments after the elections.

The presidential camp’s consultations for appointment of caretakers are so far confined to the Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain-led Pakistan Muslim League (PML) and the PPP, the daily reported.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman is also likely to be partially consulted in this connection.

The first appointment of a Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP) caretaker Chief Minister Shamsul Mulk has gone relatively well at the political level.

However, the Awami National Party of Asfandyar Wali rejected it perhaps on the grounds that Mulk has been a great proponent of the construction of the Kalabagh Dam, while the party has been against the project.

The General will finalise the interim government by November 10 after the Supreme Court ruling regarding his eligibility as President.

Benazir has handed over the names of her three opponents on October 16, two days before her homecoming, to Musharraf. The names include Director Intelligence Bureau Ijaz Shah and Punjab Government official Hasan Waseem Afzal. (ANI)

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