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Shahid Khaqan Abbasi-Khursheed Shah failed to reach consensus on caretaker PM

23 May, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Khursheed Shah Tuesday failed to reach consensus on the name for the position of caretaker premier during a meeting held at the Prime Minister’s Office on Tuesday.

Another meeting will be held with Prime Minister Abbasi tomorrow or day after to finalise the caretaker premier, Shah told the media after the meeting.

The opposition leader said the prime minister needed more time to finalise the name. “It would be good for parliament if the matter can be agreed upon in the upcoming meeting. 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 said.

He added that he had put forward names of senior bureaucrats for consideration for the post of caretaker PM.

According to sources, former prime minister and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif is not in favour of appointing a retired justice or bureaucrat a caretaker premier, and hence PM Abbasi had asked for more time.

The government is believed to have 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.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has finalised the names of Zaka Ashraf and Jalil Abbas Jilani for the caretaker prime minister. Sources said that Khursheed Shah had forwarded the names to PM Abbasi.

Former Pakistan’s ambassador to the United Nations Abdullah Hussain Haroon and former State Bank governor Dr Ishrat Hussain are also being speculated for the post.

Separately, PM Abbasi Tuesday ruled out any delay in polls. “In the last week of July, elections would be held. Terms of two provinces will expire on July 28, so there is no possibility that the polls will be delayed,” he said while talking to a private television channel. He added, “Technocrats cannot run affairs of the government.

To a question about summoning of the National Accountability Bureau chairman by a National Assembly committee, the premier said the chairman should have appeared before it, otherwise, it would not bode well for democracy. About desertion in the PML-N, the prime minister said it was a common spectacle prior to elections that specific groups left their parties.

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