President Zardari approves appointments of Punjab, KP and Balochistan governors

President Zardari approves appointments of Punjab

ISLAMABAD, MAY 4: In a major development, President Asif Ali Zardari on Saturday approved appointments of Sardar Saleem Haider, Faisal Karim Kundi and Jaffar Khan Mandokhail as governors of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, respectively.

According to a statement issued from the President’s Office, the head of the state accorded his approval based on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s advice in accordance with Article 101 (1) of the Constitution.

The development came a day after PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, following days of consideration, named two of the party loyalists — Sardar Saleem Haider Khan and Faisal Karim Kundi — for the key positions of Punjab and KP governorships.

As per media reports, the PPP chairman met Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif at the Prime Minister House on Friday to finalise the names for the key slots in the provinces.

Both the leaders approved the names of Haider for governorship in Punjab, Kundi in KP and Mandokhail in Balochistan.

During the meeting, PM Shehbaz insisted that Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), who is PML-N’s ally in Centre, would retain Sindh’s governorship.

Saleem Haider — a PPP loyalist — belongs to Punjab’s Attock district who also served as a former federal minister and prime minister’s aide for overseas Pakistanis in the previous tenure of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government.

Additionally, the politician is also the president of the Bilawal-led party’s Rawalpindi division.

Saleem will replace the current Governor Baligh Ur Rehman — who is a senior leader of the ruling PML-N. Baligh had assumed office on May 30, 2022, after the ouster of former prime minister Imran Khan-led government in the Centre.

The PPP had also named its candidate, Kundi, for the KP governor’s slot.

Kundi currently holds the position of PPP’s central information secretary and is a member of the central executive committee as well as the foreign liaison committee.

He had gotten elected as a member of the National Assembly in the 2008 general elections and made history when he was appointed the country’s youngest deputy speaker.

Over the years, Kundi has gained the respect of his peers and also made a name for himself on the international stage through his participation in global dialogues, and interactions with diplomats. He is particularly vocal about infrastructure development, educational reforms, and philanthropy and strongly believes in dialogue, and policy reform.

He also served as the prime minister’s aide, PPP KP secretary general besides being a patron of the Young Parliamentarians Forum (YPF) and the Youth Parliament and also works with the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). He also served as the chairman of the Fata Caucus.

Mandokhail was born on December 26, 1956, in Quetta. He did his matriculation from St Francis Grammar School and masters from Balochistan University.

He entered into politics in 1974 through student politics and was also the president of MSF.

The politician first contested the election from Zhob on a provincial seat on the Pakistan Muslim League Quaid’s (PML-Q) ticket in 1988.

He also served as the education minister from 1990 to 1993, finance minister from 1993 to 1996 and home minister from 1997 to 1999.

In 2002, Mandokhail contested the polls on PML-Q’s ticket and won. Moreover, after his win in the 2013 elections, he was assigned the portfolio of three departments — Board of Revenue, Excise and Transport.

He contested the 2018 elections on PML-N’s ticket but was defeated by Balochistan Awami Party’s (BAP) candidate Mitha Khan.

In the 2024 elections, he contested on PML-N’s ticket from his Zhob constituency but was defeated by a Jamiat Ulema Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) candidate.

It is pertinent to mention here that the currently ruling parties — PML-N and PPP — agreed to form a coalition government at the Centre wherein the latter, with its 54 National Assembly seats, agreed to support the former in government formation after none of the two parties managed to secure a simple majority in the lower house in the February 8 general elections.

Following several rounds of talks held between both sides, it had been decided that the PPP would get various constitutional posts including Punjab and KP governors along with the office of the president, as well as the National Assembly’s deputy speakership.=DNA