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Would-be Punjab governor to remain in PML-F, work for PPP

22 December, 2012

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LAHORE: The would-be Punjab governor, Makhdoom Ahmad Mehmood, an entrenched politician and MPA from Rahim Yar Khan, will not quit the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F), sources told our sources on Friday.

According to an understanding reached between the PPP and the PML-F, Mehmood will not resign from his party after taking oath as the Punjab governor, said sources.

The veteran politician from southern Punjab is expected to take oath as new governor in a couple of days. According to rules and regulations, before taking oath as governor, Makhdoon will have to resign as member of the Punjab Assembly.

According to Punjab Assembly sources, Makhdoom had not submitted his resignation to the speaker until the filing of this report.

Sources in the Election Commission of Pakistan also confirmed that the office had not yet been referred by the speaker to de-notify Makhdoom's membership. According to the assembly rules, it is necessary that the speaker is satisfied that the resignation is presented to him by the will of the member.

The decision to replace Sardar Latif Khosa by Mehmood as the Punjab governor was taken by President Asif Zardari during a meeting in Karachi on Thursday, which was attended by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, his son Musa Gilani and Mehmood.

During the meeting, President Zardari offered the post of the Punjab governor to the PML-F provincial president, which was accepted by him.

An industrialist and a landlord, Mehmood is considered as an influential politician in the Seraiki belt of Punjab.

His appointment as the Punjab governor will reinforce the PPP's stance for the creation of southern Punjab province, according to PPP sources. They also said that Mehmood could persuade important political families ahead of the elections and weaken the PML-N's position in southern Punjab.

Yousaf Raza Gilani, who is Makhdoom's first cousin, is said to have played an important role in striking a deal between the PPP and the PML-F.

Talking to reporters at the Governor's House on Friday, Punjab Governor Latif Khosa said that he would accept the decision of the party leadership.

"My loyalties are with the PPP and I will continue to fulfil them. For the last two years, I have performed my duties as Punjab governor with honesty," he said. Makhdoom, 51, who comes of a renowned political family, served as the Zila Council Rahim Yar Khan chairman during 1987, and as Zila Nazim, Rahim Yar Khan during 2001-05. He remained member of the Punjab Assembly during 1985-88, 1988-90; and MNA during 1990-93, 1993-96, 1997-99 and also served as minister of state.

End.

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