No 'breakthrough' on interim PM as committee mulls options
21 March, 2013
ISLAMABAD: The parliamentary committee constituted for appointment of the caretaker prime minister began its proceedings on Wednesday without achieving any breakthrough on the first day, leaving only two days for it to take a decision about the interim premier before the matter goes to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
However, the committee finalised its rules of business by deciding that only those names would be considered for the caretaker prime minister that were presented by the prime minister and opposition leader and any fresh entries into the list of names for the interim premier will be banned. The committee was constituted on Tuesday after the prime minister and the opposition leader failed to reach a consensus on caretaker prime minister.
The committee considered and discussed the name of Justice (r) Mir Hazar Khan Khoso, which was proposed by the government, and Rasool Bux Paleejo who was nominated by the PML-N. It would consider the name of Dr Ishrat Hussain and Justice (r) Nasir Aslam Zahid from the government and opposition sides, respectively. The committee chose Haji Ghulam Ahmed Bilour of the ANP as its chairman for the day's proceedings, and under the rotation policy the proceedings would be chaired by any member of from the opposition sides.
The government side was represented by PPP's Syed Khursheed Shah and Farooq H.Naek, PML-Q's President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and ANP's Haji Ghulam Bilour, while the opposition was represented by PML-N's Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Abbasi, Khawja Saad Rafiq, Sardar Yaqoob Nasir and Senator Pervez Rasheed. Later, talking to media persons outside the Parliament House, PPP's Farooq H Naek said that it would be tried that the parliamentary committee arrives on a consensus candidate for the interim prime minister.
However, if the matter remained disputed in the committee, it would automatically go to the ECP. However, the ECP would also be bound to appoint the interim prime minister only from the names considered by the parliamentary committee. Syed Khursheed Shah told the media that committee decided that two-thirds majority would be required for deciding in favour of a person for the caretaker prime minister, with mandatory presence of five out of total eight members of the committee while a decision is being made.
Haji Ghulam Ahmed Bilour said that committee would consider only the names forwarded by the prime minister and opposition leader. "Two of them have been discussed and remaining two would be taken into consideration on Thursday (today)," he told the media.
PML-N's Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Abbasi said that committee chalked out some basic principles for selecting a person to become interim prime minister. He pointed out that the committee decided that the caretaker premier should be a person of integrity, impartiality, with a good reputation in the country as well as having good administrative capabilities.
He must also be a non-political person. Abbasi rejected criticism from some opposition parties that they were not taken on board for representation of the opposition in the parliamentary committee and said that it was the opposition leader's prerogative to nominate the persons under the constitution.