PM Abbasi, Khursheed Shah fail to reach consensus on caretaker premier

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

Another meeting will be held with Prime Minister Abbasi Wednesday (today) or Thursday (tomorrow) to finalise the caretaker premier, Shah informed media after the meeting.

The opposition leader said he and the prime minister both agreed to think some more on the matter, so that the finalised name is agreed upon by the government as well as the opposition.

“It would be good for the Parliament if this 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 has put forward names of senior bureaucrats for consideration for the post of caretaker PM.

According to sources, the government has suggested names of former chief justice of Pakistan Justice (retd) Nasir-ul-Mulk, Justice (retd) Tassaduq Hussain Jillani – also a former chief justice – and former State Bank governor Dr Shamshad Akhtar.

Pakistan’s permanent representative to the United Nations Dr Maleeha Lodhi, who was earlier touted as among the favourites for the post, is missing from the list, sources said.

The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has finalised the names of Zaka Ashraf and Jalil Abbas Jilani for the caretaker prime minister. Sources informed that Khursheed Shah had forwarded these names to PM Abbasi and PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari had telephoned Ashraf and Jilani informing them of the party’s decision.

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

Who will be the caretaker prime minister?

The current government is expected to conclude its five-year term on May 31, after which the caretaker government will take over to hold the general elections, which are expected to be held in the last week of July or the first week of August.

The caretaker prime minister will lead the interim set-up and attend to day-to-day matters of governance.

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