Islamabad, Mar 11: While the Pakistan People's Party was still undecided about its nominee for the post of prime minister, its coalition ally Pakistan Muslim League(N) has opposed candidacy of PPP's frontrunner Makhdoom Amin Fahim for Prime Minister's office.
"The PML(Nawaz) has come out openly against the candidacy of PPP vice-chairman Makhdoom Amin Fahim because of what a PML(N) leader termed his frequent contacts with President Pervez Musharraf,", Dawn newspaper reported today.Mr Fahim hit back at what he called a 'character assassination campaign' launched by PML(N) leader Khwaja Mohammad Asif, saying that he had been meeting the President on the directives of the late party leader Benazir Bhutto.
He also said that PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari was aware of his meetings with Gen (retd) Musharraf after Bhutto's assassination.Khwaja Asif said the PML(N) leadership had categorically told the PPP that it had serious 'reservations' over the nomination of Mr Fahim for the post of prime minister due to his constant contacts with President Musharraf.
''We fear that he can be a proxy of Gen (retd) Musharraf. The frequency of his contacts with the President has increased with the passage of time and Mr Fahim' s nomination as prime minister can jeopardise PML-N's relationship with the PPP,'' he said. The PML(N) leader alleged that Mr Fahim had met President Musharraf even at a time when the body of Bhutto was in a hospital in Rawalpindi on December 27 last year.
Mr Fahim had held another meeting with the President within the next four days, he said. While no comment was immediately available from Mr Zardari or any other PPP office-bearer, Mr Fahim appeared on a private television channel saying that Bhutto herself had been sending him to meet President Musharraf to discuss one thing or another and that she was aware of all such meetings.
He said the PML(N) had told the PPP at their meeting in Bhurban on Sunday that it accepted the party's right to nominate anyone for the office of the prime minister, but PML(N) chief Nawaz Sharif said the nominee should not be a wired person having antennas in all directions.
He said he had great respect for Mr Fahim but it was a fact that he had been in contact with President Musharraf for a long time.