Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
May 21, 2018

Caretaker setup: suspense, secrecy prevails


May 21, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Even ten days before the expiry of the term of the present federal and provincial governments, suspense prevails over the next caretaker prime minister/chief ministers as the constitutional consultees are yet to finally firm up the names for these positions and make them public.

The interim premier, as declared by Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah, will be announced on Tuesday. It is gathered that he and Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi have already reached consensus on one name but are delaying its public disclosure to duck any unwarranted controversy, which may mar their selection.

When the opposition leader stated the other day that a female could also be the interim prime minister, he was perhaps referring to former governor of the State Bank of Pakistan Dr Shamshad Akhtar, who also figures among the names under active consideration for the slot. She has also held top positions in the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific and Asian Development Bank.

While Khursheed Shah keeps mentioning the consultations to choose the interim premier, nothing much is heard about a similar process in Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Balochistan involving the chief ministers and opposition leaders in the provincial assemblies. Since no consultations are publicly known to have been held among them, no names for the offices of the interim chief ministers have so far cropped up.

In Punjab, Law Minister Rana Sanaullah and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed have had discussions on the issue, but the latter wants to hold consultations with Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.

It may be stated even now that when it comes to resolution of even minor matters between the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and PTI, the process is bound to hit roadblocks or collapse because of the reticence of the latter. It may be safely assumed that the ECP will have to come in to decide about the interim chief minister in Punjab in the wake of the failure of the two sides to work out an accord on any name.

In Sindh, it appears that there will not be much problem in hammering out a consensus on a certain name because Mutahidda Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader of opposition in the Sindh Assembly, who is the constitutional consultee, is under tremendous pressure for obvious reasons and is in no position to offer any resistance.

In KP, the representatives of the PTI and the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) will select the caretaker chief minister. The leaders of the Balochistan Awami Party and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party will do the same in Balochistan.

This time, the entire process of selecting the caretakers at the federal and provincial levels has been slow and lackluster. It did not generate interest or excitement.

The seeming bonhomie between Abbasi and Khursheed Shah indicates that the PML-N and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) are unlikely to repeat what they did in 2013 when they had failed to arrive at an agreement on the caretaker prime minister.

As a result, four names, two proposed by each consultee, had been sent to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for decision. The ECP had nominated Justice (R) Mir Hazar Khan Khoso with a majority vote. Chief Election Commissioner Fakhruddin G Ebrahim and the ECP members from Sindh, KP and Balochistan had supported Khoso while the member from Punjab had opposed him.

The then prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, and opposition leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan were unable to reach consensus. The PPP’s list included Khoso and Dr Ishrat Hussain while the PML-N had recommended Justice (R) Nasir Aslam Zahid and Rasool Bux Palejo.

However, unlike the appointment of the interim premier that was done by the ECP in 2013, all the four caretaker chief ministers had been unanimously picked by the provincial consultees.

Topstory minus plus

Opinion minus plus

Newspost minus plus

Editorial minus plus

National minus plus

World minus plus

Sports minus plus

Business minus plus

Karachi minus plus

Lahore minus plus

Islamabad minus plus

Peshawar minus plus