Senior Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Nawab Ashiq Hussain Qureshi forwarded two names to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) to head the caretaker set-up, The Express Tribune has learnt.
Credible sources in PML-N revealed that Qureshi, a relative and close associate of PTI Chairman Imran Khan, conveyed the two names when the former party shared its list of candidates for caretaker prime ministers with PTI. They added Qureshi was also involved when PML-N was finalising candidates for the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) – he reportedly forwarded the name of Justice (retd) Fakhruddin G Ebrahim at PTI’s behest.
According to the sources, Qureshi and PML-N MNA Zahid Hamid – incidentally the former’s brother-in-law – formed the liaison between the two parties’ respective leaderships, when the PML-N was finalising candidates for CEC and now when the opposition party is seeking names for the caretaker premier’s slot.
Talking about the CEC’s appointment, they said Zahid shared the list of names with Qureshi, who forwarded it to PTI chairman Imran Khan and senior leader Hamid Khan. Hamid Khan suggested the name of Justice (retd) Shakirullah Jan, but Imran Khan allegedly baulked. Finally, the party forwarded Justice Ebrahim’s name to PML-N, through Qureshi, along with certain notes on the other names on the list.
Regarding the candidates for the caretaker prime minister, PTI sources said the party forwarded the names of Dr Shoaib Suddle and Abdul Razzaq Dawood. Sources say Qureshi handed over the names to Zahid, who finally conveyed them to opposition leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.
PTI Central Information Secretary Shafqat Mehmood, meanwhile, maintained the party never discussed any names with PML-N.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 17th, 2012.