Gilani holds back Khosa`s appointment on PML-N objections
Gilani withheld the decision to appoint senior Latif Khosa as Guv of Punjab.
Lahore: Making fresh gestures to prop up
his fragile government, Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza
Gilani has reportedly withheld the decision to appoint senior
People`s Party leader Latif Khosa as Governor of Punjab
following strong opposition to the move from PML-N chief Nawaz
Gilani held back his advice forwarding the appointment
of Khosa to the President Asif Ali Zardari after the latter
had cleared it late last week.
An official of the Prime Minister`s House said Khosa`s
name had been cleared by Zardari but Gilani conveyed to him
that the matter needed to be reconsidered because Sharif had
serious reservations over the appointment.
After Salmaan Taseer`s assassination by a police guard
for criticising the blasphemy law, Khosa had appeared as a
front-runner for the slot. The PML-N, which rules Punjab, had
an uneasy relationship with Taseer, who was a confidant of
The President often used the late Governor to target
the PML-N chief and his brother, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz
"The PML-N has attached another string to its 10-point
reforms agenda appointment of the new Punjab Governor should
be made in consultation with it," the official in the Prime
Minister`s House said.
After Gilani`s telephonic conversation with Sharif
last week, the Prime Minister had deferred his advice to the
President to appoint Khosa as Governor.
Gilani has agreed to implement Sharif`s 10-point
agenda within a 45-day deadline set by the PML-N chief.
"Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif spoke about
allegations of corruption against Khosa, the former Attorney
General and adviser to Gilani, and said it would not be in the
interest of the most populous province to have a tainted
Governor," the official said."I must say that Khosa is unlucky because he had made
all preparations to assume charge," said a senior PPP leader
who did not want to be named.
He was of the opinion that it would be unfortunate to
single out Khosa because corruption charges had been levelled
against all key leaders of the PPP.
"Now President Zardari will start the consultation
process again after returning from his visit to the US," the
PPP leader said.
Khosa was heavily backed by business tycoon Malik Riaz
and it would be difficult for the PPP chief not to "oblige"
him, the leader said.
Besides the PML-N factor, Law Minister Babar Awan, who
has a lot of support in the lawyers` community, too lobbied
"Both are rivals," the PPP leader said. "While the
PML-N wants to have its say in the process there is no
consensus on a name in the PPP."
Other candidates for the post include gas utility
official Mian Misbahur Rehman, PPP secretary general Jehangir
Badr, Zarai Taraqqiati Bank Chairman Zaka Ashraf, Information
Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira, Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar and
Evacuee Property Board Trust Chairman Asif Hashmi.
Some supporters and admirers of the slain Governor had
suggested the name of his widow Aamna Taseer for the post but
Zardari decided against appointing her after consultations
with his aides.