ECP picked Mohsin Naqvi sworn in as Punjab caretaker CM

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Mohsin Raza Naqvi
Mohsin Raza Naqvi

PTI rejects appointment, vows to launch protest; Imran, Elahi announce to approach court

Syed Mohsin Raza Naqvi was sworn in as the caretaker chief minister of Punjab on Sunday night, hours after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) unanimously decided to appoint him to the post.

Punjab Governor Balighur Rehman administered the oath to Naqvi at a ceremony held at the Governor House in Lahore.

Naqvi, who was one of the two candidates suggested by Hamza Shehbaz, is the owner of a media house and said to be very close to PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari.

Earlier, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Sunday unanimously decided to appoint the PML-N’s nominee Mohsin Naqvi as the caretaker chief minister for Punjab.

The decision was taken during a meeting chaired by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikander Sultan Raja that was attended by all four ECP members and the electoral watchdog’s secretary.

The appointment of the caretaker CM faced an unusual delay after the dissolution of the Punjab Assembly last week due to constant back-and-forth between the provincial government and the opposition on the nominees.

Outgoing Chief Minister Parvez Elahi had proposed the names of Sardar Ahmad Nawaz Sukhera and Naveed Akram Cheema while Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly Hamza Shehbaz had endorsed the names of Mohsin Naqvi and Ahad Cheema for the caretaker slot.

The matter was referred to the electoral watchdog after a bi-partisan parliamentary committee failed to reach a consensus on the matter within the stipulated time. The notification issued by the electoral watchdog on Sunday night said the commission, after detailed deliberations, had decided to appoint Naqvi as the caretaker chief minister “with immediate effect”.

The appointment of the caretaker CM faced an unusual delay after the dissolution of the Punjab Assembly last week due to constant back-and-forth between the provincial government and the opposition on the nominees. Reacting to the development, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf on Sunday rejected the nomination of Mohsin Naqvi as caretaker Punjab Chief Minister, announcing to approach the top court to challenge the ECP decision. PTI and PML-Q leaders strongly reacted as ECP nominated Mohsin Naqvi, a media mogul, as caretaker Punjab Chief Minister, and notified his nomination.

In a social media post, the former premier shared two cents on Pakistan Muslim League -N, saying the political party has a history of selecting their own umpires and questioned ECP’s move to pick Naqvi who made a voluntary return deal with the country’s anti-graft watchdog. Sharing an official document, Khan quoted a verdict of the country’s top court which stated that any individual involved in a voluntary return deal cannot hold any public office at the federal or provincial level nor in any state organisation.

Khan said the ‘tribunal has helped reduce Pakistan to Banana Republic making our democracy a joke,’ adding to hold a presser on Monday to share further details in this regard.

Fawad Chaudhary, senior PTI leader and a close aide of Imran Khan, shared a tweet saying electoral watchdog never failed to disappoint. Rejecting Naqvi’s appointment, he also announced hitting the roads to record the protest.

Outgoing Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi decided on Sunday to move the Supreme Court against the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision over the appointment of media tycoon Syed Mohsin Raza Naqvi as caretaker chief minister.

Expressing his reservations over the appointment of media tycoon Syed Mohsin Raza as caretaker Punjab chief minister.

Taking to Twitter, Mr Elahi said, “We will move the Supreme Court against the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision. “How can my close relative become the chief minister?”

Profile

Mohsin Naqvi was raised by his maternal uncle after losing his parents at a young age. His uncle also serves as the chairman of a media group. He had a traditional upbringing, and attended Crescent Model School and later the Government College in Lahore. He showed early signs of leadership and had a talent for networking, even building a relationship with the chief minister while still an undergraduate student. He later pursued higher education in the United States.

While based in Miami, Mr Naqvi gained experience in journalism through an internship at CNN. This experience may have inspired his idea for local media networks in Pakistan.

When no journalist was willing to return to Pakistan, he, as a CNN intern, volunteered to return home and leverage the CNN name and his strong networking abilities to establish himself in the news media industry. While working at CNN, Mohsin Naqvi held the position of a producer and was utilized as a local resource for foreign journalists. As CNN s representative in Pakistan, he fulfilled various roles and would arrange interviews and meetings with important figures such as the chief minister.

As a field producer for CNN, Mr Naqvi worked diligently behind the scenes, focusing on building connections and managing logistics.