ISLAMABAD: The name of caretaker prime minister of Pakistan may be decided today (Friday) but astonishingly, the government and opposition PPP could not arrive at any agreement and they still keep mum on the issue. PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and opposition leader in the National Assembly Syed Khurshid Shah will hold fifth meeting today and may decide any given name sofar.
It is learnt that Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto have finalised former PCB chairman, Zaka Ashraf and Jalil Abbas Jilani, a former Pakistani ambassador to Washington for the interim PM. According to reports, Asif Zardari called the two nominees of the party on phone, telling them that they have been chosen for their hard work and honesty.
Opposition Leader in the National Assembly, Syed Khurshid Shah has forwarded the names to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. Former defence secretary Salim Abbas Jilani was the third choice.
The sources said that the government does not agree to any name out of all three PPP nominees and a deadlock is still there. PML-N’s choices are Justice (retd) Nasirul Mulk, Justice (retd) Tassaduq Jillani and Ms Shamshad Akhtar (former governor of State Bank).
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) says Ashraf Zaka is not acceptable to it because of his known affiliation to PPP co-chairman Asif Zardari. Moreover, Mr Ashraf was also a member of the PPP’s Central Executive Committee (CEC).
Though, Mr Ashraf had recently resigned from the party’s CEC apparently on the directive of the party leadership in anticipation of his nomination for the post of the caretaker prime minister. PTI has given three names for the caretaker prime minister were former chief justice of Pakistan Tasadduq Hussain Jilani, businessman Abdur Razzaq Dawood and economist Dr Ishrat Husain.
But the Party has not officially released the names to the media and that the party was still discussing the matter. Other names in circulation were Hussain Haroon, former ECP secretary Ishtiaq Ahmed Khan, Dr. Maleeha Lodhi, former Balochistan governor Owais Ahmed Ghani, and former Senate chairman Muhammad Mian Soomro.
The term of the PML-N government will expire on May 31, after which the care taker setup will be put in place. If the prime minister and the opposition leader fail to reach a consensus on a candidate, they will have to make public three names each.
The list of the six nominees will be referred to a parliamentary committee, which will be formed by the National Assembly speaker. If the committee also fails to come to a decision, the matter will be referred to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), which will then have prerogative to choose any one of the six nominated candidates. Truth Commission Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has floated the idea of formation of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission with consensus of all the political parties to unearth major historical events.
Speaking with a private TV channel in Islamabad, the prime minister said that the objective of formation of such a commission would not be to persecute, award or punish anyone but to reveal facts behind major events to the people. To a question the prime minister said all the institutions in the country should work within their constitutional domains.
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said elections would be held on time as any delay would amount to constitutional violation. To a query, he regretted that judicial activism and NAB have paralyzed the functioning of the government and he has brought this issue on the floor of the House.