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Shahabuddin pushed for Pakistan premiership

Textiles minister is politically affiliated with Zardari’s party

Gulf News

Islamabad: Senior PPP leader Makhdoom Shahabuddin has been short-listed as one of the candidates for prime minister following a Supreme Court ruling disqualifying Yousuf Raza Gilani in a contempt case, media reported on Wednesday.

Presently a member of the National Assembly and textiles minister, Shahabuddin earlier held the portfolios of federal minister for finance and health in the Gilani-led government.

Coming from Punjab province’s Rahim Yar Khan city, Shahabuddin has been politically affiliated to the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), headed by Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari.

During a revamp of Gilani’s cabinet in February last year, Shahabuddin was tipped to be sworn in as foreign minister. However, the party changed its plans after Shah Mahmoud Qureshi skipped the swearing-in ceremony on learning that he would not be appointed to the Foreign Ministry.

Gilani had expressed reservations over the candidacy of Shahabuddin.

Both Gilani and Shahabuddin belong to the southern part of Punjab and political rivalries were believed to be the reason for Gilani’s reservations.