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PPP fails to agree on prime minister

Senior party leaders say the decision has been delayed by a couple of days, reports Kamal Siddiqi.
Hindustan Times | By Kamal Siddiqi, Karachi
UPDATED ON MAR 07, 2008 04:45 AM IST

The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) once again could not agree on a prime ministerial candidate at its parliamentary party meeting held at Zardari House in Islamabad on Thursday, senior leaders said after the confabulation.

Divisional leader Nabil Gabol told reporters that co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari will announce the decision on who-will-be-prime minister "within a couple of days". Speculation on the choice of candidate is intense but it is not just the choice for PM that is being finalised at the Islamabad meeting but ministerial jobs as well.

PPP senior leaders Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Raja Pervez Ashraf and Ahmed Mukhtar are among those being tipped for the top slot. All of them attended the meeting on Thursday.

Islamabad is abuzz with rumours and speculation about when parliament will be summoned. It was earlier hinted that parliament would be called into session in the first week of March, but so far there is no indication of a possible date. At the same time, various developments in the past week suggest that some sort of understanding between the PPP headed by Asif Zardari and the Musharraf government is in the offing.

On Wednesday, the National Accountability Bureau's Rawalpindi bench dropped five of the seven corruption cases against Zardari and aide Rehman Malik under the provisions of the National Reconciliation Ordinance and released his assets.

The NAB court terminated SGS, ARY Ursus Tractor and Polo Ground references against the PPP leaders. The court also ordered releasing of frozen and confiscated assets including accounts and sugar mills. Zardari had spent over eight years behind bars in some of these cases.

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