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July 21, 2013
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Mamnoon Hussain most likely to replace Zardari

July 21, 2013

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ISLAMABAD: Although the PML-N government has apparently shortlisted three names for presidential candidates, including Mamnoon Hussain and Sartaj Aziz, it appeared that it had finally agreed on the name of former governor Sindh Mamnoon Hussain to replace President Asif Ali Zardari, inside sources confided to this correspondent on Saturday.
According to a well-placed source in the party who requested anonymity, the top brass of the party had discussed the short listed names in the final analysis on Friday and reached a consensus on the former governor Sindh’s name who was rated as a ‘balanced Urdu speaking Sindhi more acceptable to other parties. The source said that the party leadership felt that since Sindh being largest among three smaller provinces has no or little representation in top echelon of the government, the president should come from that province.
Then, it was further discussed that since the party needs to make inroads in urban Sindh as its candidates had failed to fare very well in May 11 polls its representative in the governor house would be more helpful than anybody else.
Party meeting which was chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also considered the name of Sartaj Aziz the incumbent adviser to the PM on National Security and Foreign Affairs but found that his services were more required in the present capacity than switching over to the dormant Presidency.
Mamnoon Hussain, it would be recalled remained governor during Nawaz Sharif’s second stint in power and was a successful handler of the Sidnh administration as a cool headed politician. When asked about the name of Ghaus Ali Shah former Sindh chief minister, the source dismissed the reports of his name ever been in circulation for the next president. He said in fact Mr Shah’s performance in the general elections was not found satisfactory and his name was in the negative list.
Meanwhile the former British MP Chaudhry Ghulam Sarwar has already been summoned to

take oath as governor Punjab, the name of former chief minister Sardar Mehtab Ahmad Khan is final for becoming next governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The new governor for Punjab is likely to take oath shortly while KP governor’s replacement is likely to take place after presidential election, sources said.

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