–NA Opp leader says PM has no authority to reject opposition’s nominees for caretaker PM
ISLAMABAD: Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Khursheed Shah on Wednesday said that the matter of interim prime minister is likely to be forwarded to the parliamentary committee for decision as the government is backtracking on its commitment regarding the appointment of caretaker prime minister.
“At this point, it is appearing that the matter regarding the appointment of the caretaker prime minister will be settled through a parliamentary committee as the government is backtracking on its commitment,” Shah said while speaking to reporters in his chambers at Parliament House.
“Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has no authority to reject our nominees for caretaker premier,” the Pakistan People’s Party senior leader said.
Shah continued, “Names suggested by the opposition cannot be rejected, in fact, they will be sent to a parliamentary committee.”
On Tuesday, PM Abbasi and opposition leader Shah had failed to reach consensus on the name for the position of caretaker premier during a meeting held at Prime Minister’s House.
Talking to reporters after the meeting, Shah had said he will hold another meeting with Abbasi either on Wednesday or Thursday to finalise the name for the caretaker premier. The opposition leader said that he and the prime minister had both agreed to think some more on the matter. “It would be good for parliament if this matter can be agreed upon in [the upcoming] meeting,” he added.
“If not, then [a committee] will be constituted, to which the names will be sent within three days and the majority decision will be [implemented],” Shah had said, adding that he has put forward names of senior bureaucrats for consideration for the post of caretaker PM.
According to details, the government has suggested names of former chief justice of Pakistan Justice (r) Nasirul Mulk, Justice (r) Tassaduq Hussain Jillani – also a former chief justice – and former State Bank governor Dr Shamshad Akhtar.
Pakistan’s permanent representative to the United Nations Dr Maleeha Lodhi, who was earlier touted as among the favourites for the post, is missing from the list, according to details.
The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has finalised the names of Zaka Ashraf and Jalil Abbas Jilani for the caretaker prime minister. Khursheed Shah had reportedly forwarded these names to PM Abbasi and PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari had telephoned Ashraf and Jilani informing them of the party’s decision.
Former Pakistan Ambassador to the United Nations Abdullah Hussain Haroon and former State Bank governor Dr Ishrat Hussain are also being speculated for the post.
The current government is expected to conclude its five-year term on May 31, after which the caretaker government will take over to hold the general elections, which are expected to be held in the last week of July or the first week of August.