Islamabad, Mar 10 : Pakistan prime minister hopeful Makhdoom Amin Fahim has hinted that PPP co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari was nourishing the ambition of becoming the country's next prime minister, and made public his desire at a meeting with newly-elected MNAs from Hyderabad division, here last night.
Amin said that Zardari's plans were to install someone from Punjab in the post for three months, and thereafter occupy the position himself.
But, Fahim said that he would not give any reaction unless he himself heard about this plan from the mouth of Asif Zardari. "I am also not making any comment on this development, as Asif Zardari is not a member of the parliament," The News quoted him as saying.
According to the paper, this is the third major policy shift in Zardari's stance during the past few weeks. First, he had announced Fahim as the prime minister at Naudero, then he changed his mind and started talking about a prime minister from the Punjab, after backing Yousaf Raza Gillani, Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Ahmed Mukhtar.
Now, finally he is believed to have decided to become the candidate for the top slot, after quietly pitching the top four leaders against each other. These four otherwise shrewd politicians were smartly made to fight each other so that instead of getting united against him at any stage, none of them could pose any challenge for him at the time of the decision of the prime ministership, added the paper.
Giving details of the meeting, PPP sources said that those who attended the meeting included Dr Fahmida Mirza, Naveed Qamar, Nawab Yousaf Talpur, Shagufta Jumani, Pir Aftab Gilani and others.
Sources said as the meeting started, Zardari explained the current political situation and sought their opinion. In his introductory lecture, Zardari said he understood that the people were strongly talking in Sindh that the prime ministerial slot was their right. Keeping their aspirations in view, Zardari said he had decided to first bring a prime minister from the Punjab for only three months and then he would elevate himself to the post.
Later, he sought the opinion of MNA Dr Fahmida Mirza who immediately endorsed his strategy to elevate himself as the prime minister. PPPP MNA Naveed Qamar, however, turned out to be wiser than the rest when he just made a one-liner comment. "Sir, I have already conveyed you my opinion on this issue in a private meeting."
Likewise, sources said, the rest of the MPs also supported the elevation of Zardari as the prime minister. They observed that his decision to become the prime minister might stop the likely rift in the party, which became clearer after the four prime ministerial hopefuls - Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Yousaf Raza Gilani and Ahmed Mukthar - laid their claims to the post.