The decision of interim chief ministers for Punjab and Balochistan will be referred to the Election Commission of Pakistan after the provincial governments and the opposition were unable to agree on mutual candidates.
In Punjab, the government and the opposition sat with a six-member parliamentary committee but ended the meeting without a decision. The decision will now be sent to the ECP which has two days to decide. The four candidates finalised for the position by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf are Ayaz Amir and Hassan Askari Rizvi, while the Pakistan Muslim League-N put forth the names of former naval chief Mohammad Zakaullah and Justice (retd) Sahir Ali.
Opposition leader Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed said the government didn’t agree on Ayaz Amir, while the opposition rejected Zakaullah. “Hassan Askari was the only neutral candidate, we tried very hard to convince the government to agree. But the government refused to budge from their stance.”
In Balochistan, while the Abdul Quddus Bizenjo-led provincial government refused to participate in the parliamentary committee meeting, the opposition met and deemed the meeting inconclusive. Former CM Sanaullah Zehri and Dr Abdul Malik Baloch also attended the meeting.
Former CM Zehri said, “We are acting according to the Constitution, but the former government is creating hurdles.”
“Bizenjo wants to make amendments to the Constitution which will make him chief minister for life. Balochistan will not entertain any more jokes,” he added.
Previously, the matter of caretaker CM Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was referred to the ECP after a deadlock on the matter. The ECP chose opposition’s Justice (retd) Dost Muhammad Khan for the slot.