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April 20, 2018
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PML-N not to propose names for caretaker PM

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April 20, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has decided not to propose names for the caretaker prime minister and has practically surrendered options to the opposition Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), thus paving the way for a consensus caretaker prime minister in June.

“Nawaz Sharif conveyed this to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi who informed the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah during his April 11 meeting held in Islamabad,” a key leader of PML-N informed The News here on Thursday.

Earlier, there was a strong possibility that both the PML-N and the PPP would not agree to any consensus candidate, in case both give panels of their choice. The incumbent PML-N government is all set to end its five-year tenure by the end of next month.

Nawaz Sharif, according to sources, wants that instead of “anyone else,” the slot of the caretaker prime minister should be filled in by the recommendation of the political parties. Sources claim that Nawaz Sharif knew that the opposition PPP would not accept the nominees of his party and the issue would ultimately be decided by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP),which he does not want.

The sources claim that Nawaz Sharif was also recently whispered about the name of Fakhar Imam and some others, for the slot, by different quarters however he refused to accept any of them. Another reason for surrendering the option for recommending anyone for slot is to woo the PPP and its Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari who is severely annoyed and criticising Nawaz Sharif and his party. The sources claim that Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has told Khursheed Shah to have consensus with others opposition parties.

In this context, Khursheed Shah after getting approval from his party leadership has deliberated upon the name of the caretaker prime minister with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and PML-Q and has reportedly finalised some names.

Confirming the development, PML-N Senator Pervaiz Rashid said: “the PML-N has surrendered the options and we want the opposition to fill in the slot this time. He confirmed that Nawaz Sharif has decided not to recommend anyone for the caretaker prime minister.”

“The process of finalising the name for the caretaker prime minister must not be kept secret? Why is there so much secrecy?” Fawaz Ch, the central spokesman of PTI questioned when contacted by this correspondent. Fawad Ch while responding to a recent statement of the opposition leader said if the PPP did not consult the PTI, his party would also not consult the PPP in the KP and Punjab. He said that politicians should be mature enough to finalise the name of the caretaker setup.

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