ISLAMABAD: Despite holding five rounds of talks, the government and the opposition have remained inconclusive on a caretaker prime minister, with reports suggesting former prime minister Nawaz Sharif is the reason behind the indecisiveness.
Sources have said that Sharif does not want a former bureaucrat or a retired judge to be the caretaker prime minister.
Earlier today, Khurshid Shah told reporters that a consensus could not be reached during his meeting with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi which lasted for half an hour.
He added that another round of consultations will be scheduled in a day or two. “We would try to finalise a name,” he said. “If the matter is not resolved in the next meeting then it will be forwarded to the parliamentary committee.”
Since Khursheed Shah has given the names of Zaka Ashraf and Jalil Abbas Jillani, the prime minister seeks more time to occult his predecessor.
During the meeting today, according to the sources, Shah reminded the prime minister of Sharif’s statement that he will accept any nominee of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).
Although the government and opposition remain tight-lipped about the matter, names of Maleeha Lodhi, Tassaduq Hussain Jillani and Dr Ishrat Hussain have been doing the rounds as candidates expected to be elevated to the coveted slot of the caretaker PM.
In interactions with journalists in the recent days, Shah has hinted at getting elevated a ‘female PM’, giving rise to speculations that Lodhi’s name may have been agreed upon.
Another female candidate whose name is under consideration is former governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Shamshad Akhtar, the possibility of whose elevation cannot be ruled out either.
PM Abbasi and Shah met earlier on May 18 but the conclave proved inconclusive as both sides failed to finalise a candidate before Abbasi left for Turkey to participate in the 7th Extraordinary Summit of OIC to discuss Israeli forces brutalities against Palestinians.
The government had proposed names of former secretary of Election Commission of Pakistan Ishtiak Ahmad Khan and former CJPs Jawad S Khawaja and Anwar Zaheer Jamali.
Constitutionally, in case the PM fails to agree on a name for caretaker PM with the leader of opposition in the NA, the matter would land before the NA speaker who would form an eight-member parliamentary committee to take up the issue.
Agencies add: Earlier, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had finalized the names of Justice (r) Nasir-ul-Mulk, Tassaduq Jilani and Ishrat Hussain for caretaker prime minister while Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) suggested names of Zaka Ashraf and Jalil Abbas Jilani.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PIT) had finalised the names of Dr Ishrat Hussain, Tassaduq Jilani and Abdul Razzaq Dawood, while, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) had finalised the name of Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan for the caretaker PM.
PTI has categorically rejected the names finalised by the PPP. PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry said that the PPP has proposed two names [Zaka Ashraf and Jalil Abbas] for caretaker premier.
We will have to wait and look that whether Abbasi [incumbent premier] accept or reject these names, adding that the names proposed by PTI were more suitable.
These parties decided the names after consultations with their senior leadership.