Islamabad: Former chief justice of Pakistan Nasirul Mulk was named as the caretaker prime minister on Monday, reports Dawn.
The announcement was made by Leader of the Opposition Khursheed Shah at a press conference in Islamabad following a meeting with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.Shah was accompanied by Abbasi and National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq at the press conference.
PM Abbasi spoke first, describing the agreed-upon candidate for caretaker PM as someone “who no one can object to”.
“All the names under consideration were credible,” PM Abbasi said. “Every name was discussed, and this name was decided upon.”
“His role as a caretaker PM will be in favour of the country and the democratic process.”
The premier thanked the NA speaker for facilitating the process “in a constitutional manner” and for playing a role in both parties reaching a consensus.
“Congratulations to you all,” PM Abbasi said, requesting Khursheed Shah to make the formal announcement.Shah began by clarifying that “no one’s name was discarded”.
“We have chosen his name on the basis of merit. We took our parties into confidence and decided upon this name.”
“We are happy that the government was able to complete its five-year term,” Shah said, adding that the NA speaker had played a major role in both parties reaching an agreement.
“We have made a democratic decision. I am thankful to the PM [and] to the speaker for making this decision with patience, setting aside emotion. The name of the person I would like to present is very respectable,” the veteran PPP leader said.
“The name is Nasirul Mulk, who has remained a chief justice. He has played a historic role ─ in the judiciary and when he was a lawyer.”
“I am hopeful that God will give him the passion and courage to successfully conduct free, fair and impartial elections in Pakistan on July 25, 2018.”
It was earlier reported that the government had suggested the names of Mulk, retired Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani — also a former chief justice — and former State Bank governor Dr Shamshad Akhtar, while the PPP had said, in the event that the matter went to a parliamentary committee, that it would propose the names of former Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Zaka Ashraf and former ambassador to the United States Jalil Abbass Jilani.
The job of the caretaker PM is to keep the country running between the dissolution of parliament and the new government being sworn in.
Today’s announcement comes after weeks of deadlock between the PML-N and the opposition over the name of the caretaker PM.
It was earlier reported that the name of the caretaker PM would be announced on May 22, but that ‘deadline’ lapsed, like many before it, with both leaders promising more deliberations in the next few days or so.
Despite a number of meetings over a period of six weeks, the lack of consensus between both parties appeared to persist, with many believing the issue would be sent to a parliamentary committee for deliberation.
There were reports that both the government and the opposition wanted the name to be kept under wraps for “as long as possible to avoid unnecessary debate in the media on the issue.”
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had warned that if the name wasn’t announced within three days of the government’s dissolution, a bipartisan committee of lawmakers would be created to resolve the matter within three days.
If that committee was also unsuccessful, the matter would have been referred to the ECP, which would then pick a name of its own choosing.