Elections to be held in time, assures Mulk


Takes oath as caretaker PM; Says Cabinet will be kept small, vows transparent general elections

Sophia Siddiqui


Former Chief Justice of Pakistan Nasirul Mulk took oath as the seventh caretaker prime minister at a ceremony at President House here on Friday, hours after the National Assembly was formally dissolved in the run up to the elections.
President Mamnoon Hussain administered the oath to him, who was unanimously nominated for the post by both the government and opposition, with former PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi describing the retired judge as a someone whom “no one could object to”.
Top government officials and dignitaries attended the ceremony, including former PM Abbasi, the chiefs of staff, Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, and others.
Following the ceremony, PM Nasirul Mulk received a guard of honour at PM House.
The newly appointed caretaker PM, while speaking to journalists after the ceremony, said that members of the Cabinet would be announced after discussion on the matter. He said he would like to keep the cabinet small.
One of his first decisions was to change his principal secretary, Fawad Hasan Fawad, and replace him with Sohail Amir. Fawad has been rotated to DG Civil Services.
Mulk also said he would make sure that the elections will be held in a timely and transparent manner. “We will fulfil the duty we were entrusted with,” he promised.
The caretaker prime minister said they would support the Election Commission of Pakistan for timely and fair elections.
The federal government of PML-N completed its five-year constitutional term late Thursday, after which the interim government took over the rein of the country. Mulk, who has also served as the interim chief of Election Commission of Pakistan, will be heading the government until the general elections.
INP adds: Retired Justice Nasirul Mulk was born on August 17, 1950 in Mingora, Swat. He completed his degree of Bar-at-Law from Inner Temple London and was called to the Bar in 1977.
His father, Kamran Khan, was a businessman known for his philanthropic work in Swat. Mulk is fond of playing golf and is often seen taking a walk in the Margalla hills.
The now-retired Mulk practised as an Advocate in all fields of Law for more than 17 years until his elevation as a judge of the Peshawar High Court. He remained PHC chief justice for some time before his elevation as a judge of the Supreme Court.
When he took oath as the 22nd chief justice of Pakistan in 2014, members of the legal fraternity said the appointment would bring honour, dignity and quiet grace.
Why quiet grace? Because, they said, Justice Mulk seldom interjected court proceedings with questions to the counsel unless necessary. A judge who never lost his temper, he extended equal opportunity to the lawyers, but was firm about not allowing the contesting sides to get sidetracked by entering the political arena.
“He is a good administrator and a disciplined judge who knows how to manage courts,” Advocate Hafiz S.A. Rehman commented at the time. “He was a teacher who had complete command of his subject and avoided controversies,” recalled a former student of Justice Mulk in the Khyber Law College of Peshawar University. “He always came into the classroom well prepared.”
He has also delivered lecturers in Khyber Law College, Peshawar and Peshawar University besides delivering lectures as a guest speaker at the N.W.F.P. Provincial Services Academy, Peshawar.
He is remembered for the way he conducted a contempt case against then prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.
He convicted the then chief executive for 30 seconds while maintaining the dignity and honour of the court, and left the disqualification issue open to the Election Commission of Pakistan and the then speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Fehmida Mirza. Justice Mulk is one of the seven judges who signed a restraining order on Nov 3, 2007, when retired Gen Pervez Musharraf imposed emergency and forcibly sent the judges home.

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