Parliamentary body resolves to appoint caretaker PM in given time

Parliamentary body resolves to appoint caretaker PM in given time

ISLAMABAD:  The Parliamentary Committee formed to appoint a caretaker prime minister could not evolve consensus, but its members expressed resolve to complete the task within stipulated time.

The Parliamentary Committee which met here at the Parliament House with Haji Ghulam Ahmed Bilour in the chair discussed the names of Justice ® Mir Hazar Khan Khoso and Rasool Bux Palijo threadbare but failed to evolve consensus. Earlier, the committee elected Former Minister for Railways Ghulam Ahmed Bilour as its Chairman. The committee was tasked with appointing the caretaker prime minister in three days, else the matter would be sent to the Election Commission of Pakistan.

The government had nominated Dr Ishrat Hussain and Justice (retd) Mir  Hazar Khan Khoso for the caretaker prime minister, while the PML-N had named Justice (retd) Nasir Aslam Zahid and Rasool Bux Palijo for the post of caretaker prime minister.Following the meeting, Syed Khurshid Shah told reporters outside the Parliament House that the committee in its each meeting would have a new chairman, who would be nominated by the committee members.

He said that the caretaker prime minister’s name would be finalised with a two-thirds majority and the names of Dr.  Ishrat Hussain and Justice ® Nasir  Aslam Zahid would be discussed tomorrow.He said it was a new experience in the parliamentary history of the  country and the committee discussed merits and de-merits of the candidates.He said that the caretaker prime minister should be neutral, administratively experienced, impartial and he should not have any political affiliation, besides having a good repute among public.He said that if the committee could not reach any consensus, the matter would be automatically transferred to Election Commission of Pakistan to decide the name of interim premier  by Saturday.

He said that the committee was discussing four different names for the slot of caretaker Prime Minister and it had not the authority to go beyond its mandate, which was to decide the name among four candidates. Khursheed Shah in his comments expressed his concern over statement of  Leader of Opposition Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan in which he had stated that the committee may not reach any consensus, hence, the matter would be automatically referred to Election Commission of Pakistan to decide who would be the next chief executive for interim period.

He said that the opposition leader’s statement was undemocratic and he  tried to sabotage the mandate of the committee.Shah praised the role of Election Commission and said that it was working properly.Sardar Mehtab Khan Abbasi hoped that there would be a consensus but  pointed out that the caretaker prime minister could also be appointed with a 6-2 majority in the committee.Farooq Naek informed reporters that new nominees could not be considered by the committee as per the Constitution.  “The committee has no authority to change the names sent by the prime minister and opposition leader.”

Naek added that the same names would be sent to the Election Commission  of Pakistan, if the committee failed to appoint a caretaker prime minister  within three days.He said that the general elections would be held on May 11 and polling  for the National Assembly and Provincial Assemblies would be held on the same day as three provincial assemblies of Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa and Sindh had already been dissolved and the Punjab Assembly would also be dissolved within few days.

Khawaja Saad Rafique expressed his hope that the committee would succeed to finalize the name of interim prime minister and a big breakthrough could occur.The coalition government was represented by Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Khursheed Shah, Ghulam Ahmed Bilour and Farooq Naek, while Parvez Rasheed, Sardar Mehtab Abbasi, Khawaja Saad Rafique and Sardar Yaqoob Nasir are representing the opposition in the committee. – APP