Pakistan's PM-elect vows to focus on energy issues
ISLAMABAD: Raja Pervez Ashraf, Pakistan's former minister for water and power, who is alleged to have played an important role in what is generally known as 'rental power scam' and is also called by some as 'Rental Raja', not only managed to scrape past the finishing line and end up as the ruling party’s designate for the post of prime minister but was also elected Friday evening by National Assembly as new chief executive of the country.
Shortly after one on Wednesday night, the state-run Pakistan Television broke the news that President Asif Ali Zardari had decided on Makhdoom Shahabuddin as the new prime minister-designate of the ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and Raja Pervez Ashraf as the former’s covering candidate. The names were obviously made public with a wink and a nod from the men at the top of the government. In fact, there was a point of view that the information was made public to gauge reaction.
And the reaction was forthcoming as a special (anti-narcotics) court in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, the twin city of Islamabad, issued warrant for arrest of Makhdoom Shahabuddin on Thursday for his alleged involvement in a drug case. Although the Peshawar High Court on Friday granted bail before arrest to him, the ruling PPP dropped the name of Makhdoom Shahabuddin for the slot of the prime minister, paving the way for Raja Pervez Ashraf to become prime minister of the country mired in a political crisis after disqualification of Yusuf Raza Gilani, former prime minister, by the top court of the country for contempt of court.
ISLAMABAD: The candidate of the PPP and its coalition partners Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said Friday that tackling and overcoming the energy crisis would be his top priority if elected.
Raja Pervaiz Ashraf was speaking to the media after attending the parliamentary party meeting of the PML-Q. Ashraf thanked the PML-Q and the Chaudhry brothers for extending their support to him.
Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi of the PML-Q while speaking to reporters said his party had endorsed Ashraf as the PM candidate and that they had a commitment to President Zardari and the PPP as their allies.