Change of opposition leader: Zardari summons Khursheed Shah


KARACHI Sept 29 (TNS): Pakistan Peoples’ Party Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari on Friday summoned Khursheed Shah at his residence to discuss political developments related to the efforts being made by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf to replace the opposition leader in lower house, informed sources.

In the meeting, Zardari also plans to discuss party’s choice for new chairman of National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

The former president also called a consultative meeting of the party today to discuss the issue with the senior party leadership.

According to the sources, Zardari has decided to form a committee mandated to contact opposition parties in a bid to avoid replacement of the opposition leader in National Assembly.

Jamaat-e-Islami, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid, MNAs from FATA and Aftab Sherpao will be contacted today.

Earlier, a delegation of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, including Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Asad Umar, Firdous Shamim among others, met with the leaders of Muttahida Quami Movement-Pakistan.

The leaders met at MQM’s temporary headquarters in Bahadurabad.

According to sources, the leaders of the two parties mulled over the possibility of replacing Pakistan Peoples Party stalwart Khursheed Shah as the leader of opposition in the National Assembly, before the caretaker government steps in ahead of 2018 General Elections.

The nomination for opposition leader in the National Assembly has led to rifts within Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf as a number of its members have objected to Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s name for the key post, sources confided.

Sources said a number of PTI members of the National Assembly have rejected Shah Mehmood Qureshi as the new opposition leader. They are of the view that only Imran Khan could be the candidate for the key post.

It has been learnt that a meeting of the PTI parliamentary committee had on September 20 decided that Khan would be the new opposition leader, after which the PTI began contacting other political parties.

The members of the PTI, opposed to Qureshi being the opposition leader, have demanded that a meeting of PTI parliamentary committee be called and those, who met the MQM, should be asked to explain as to why did they give the perception of nominating Qureshi, sources informed further.

They added that a large number of PTI members, including Jahangir Tareen, are opposed to Qureshi’s nomination.