Punjab interim CM: Najam Sethi's name approved

Published: March 26, 2013

Najam Sethi. PHOTO: ATHER KHAN/EXPRESS/FILE

Najam Sethi. PHOTO: ATHER KHAN/EXPRESS/FILE File photo of Shahbaz Sharif. PHOTO: WASIM NIAZ/FILE

LAHORE: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Tuesday approved the name of journalist Najam Sethi for the Punjab caretaker chief minister slot, Express News reported. 

Hours before the matter would have gone to the Election Commission of Pakistan for a final solution, the PML-N, after a grand review meeting finalised the name of the award winning journalist.

Former law minister Rana Sanaullah while announcing the committee’s decision explained the reason for the 11th hour announcement was that they had put forward their names after due consultation with other parties. In light of the options put forward by the opposition, and the need to deliberate on the names further, the PML-N had to consult those parties again.

“This morning, the consultations were on going.”

“Constitutionally we are obligated to finalise a name by midnight, hence we kept ourselves open to the candidates proposed,” Sanaullah said.

“The country has been listening to his unbiased analysis on television,  and we hope that he would now conduct free and fair elections.”

Later, talking to the media, Najam Sethi said that this would be an experience.

“This is a temporary job. It is a time to put theory into practice.”

“I will consult chief election commissioner as policy making is not the job of caretaker government. I will tell the CEC that this is your government, whatever you order, we will comply. If our orders are not complied with, then I will come home.”

Earlier, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif ordered the parliamentary committee to hold another meeting and reach a consensus over the name of caretaker chief minister of Punjab, Express News reported on Tuesday.

Earlier during the day, the third and the final committee meeting had failed to reach a consensus and had forwarded the matter to the Election Commission of Pakistan. However, sources said that the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) was concerned that the election commission might pick a candidate presented by the PPP, so they decided to call a review meeting.

“We still have time till midnight,” Shahbaz told the media.

The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) nominated journalist Najam Sethi, Justice (r) Zahid Hussain, while the PML-N suggested the names of Justice (r) Amir Raza Khan and Khawaja Zaheer, a former bureaucrat.

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Reader Comments (59)

  • MAD
    Mar 26, 2013 - 12:25PM

    ANd Shahbaz Sharif gets to be SM 3 more days now.Recommend

  • Wellwisher
    Mar 26, 2013 - 1:20PM

    People of Pakistan, beware. PML-N shows no sign of flexibility which is essential for a functioning democracy. Also its soft corner for rightist movement is not good for the country.

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  • Wellwisher
    Mar 26, 2013 - 2:12PM

    Its not about flexibility. Its about their lust for power. Sharifs know it very well that the more they cling to it, the more it will benefit them. They cannot survive without using government resources and machinery.

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  • A Punjabi
    Mar 26, 2013 - 2:15PM

    Probably PML-N forgot to include Shahbaz Shareef’s name into the list of suggested names!

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  • Blithe
    Mar 26, 2013 - 3:54PM

    @Wellwisher:
    So biased!

    What about PPP showing flexibility , my friend ??

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  • Jibran
    Mar 26, 2013 - 3:57PM

    How could you give orders to the parliamentary committee? It does not fall under you. The arrogance of Shobaz continues.

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  • Ahmed Zawar
    Mar 26, 2013 - 4:30PM

    All assemblies dissolved, all caretakers in except for CM Punjab. It’s a whole parallel goverment there. And then the Sharifs say oh we never got the opportunity to rule over Pakistan!

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Mar 26, 2013 - 5:40PM

    Whatever the outcome, each minute of Mian Sahib’s in office is a blessing for Punjab.

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  • Moosa Khan
    Mar 26, 2013 - 6:25PM

    The bidding must be very high for that interim post.

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  • filmy
    Mar 26, 2013 - 7:30PM

    Showman would have been one of the greatest actors in Pakistan…..definitely knows how to act.

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  • Acorn Guts
    Mar 26, 2013 - 7:43PM

    If they think the caretaker system will be able to influence the election outcome then immediately they’ve shown lack of confidence in ECP.

    Either go after ECP and bring your concerns forward or stop this tomfoolery.

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  • Historian 1
    Mar 26, 2013 - 8:42PM

    I think Hamza Nawaz wants to be the caretaker CM

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  • Mar 26, 2013 - 10:15PM

    Najam sethi has been chosen.

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  • Mar 26, 2013 - 10:15PM

    agree on Najam sethi

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  • Najeebullah
    Mar 26, 2013 - 10:23PM

    If they select Mr najam sethi he will for sure take some aggressive actions against the extremist outfits who are openly operating in Punjab. But this dream will remain be a dream because pmln would never allow someone to crush their electoral allies.

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  • John the Baptist
    Mar 26, 2013 - 10:30PM

    Wow, big Imran hater being put in the CM slot. Definite Muk Muka!

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  • Maj
    Mar 26, 2013 - 10:37PM

    Najam Sethi shouldn’t have provided opportunties for terrorists to spew hatred; he gave them air-time on GeoTV and space in his Friday Times. Hardly a neutral person

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  • Riaz Khan
    Mar 26, 2013 - 10:38PM

    Superb decision! Wish he would have been nominated as caretaker PM of PK. In fact he would be ideal permanent PM of PK. Congratulations NS!

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  • Jibran
    Mar 26, 2013 - 10:44PM

    Like PML-N had a choice given the controversial nominations it had put forward. Good job PPP.

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  • Ovais
    Mar 26, 2013 - 10:46PM

    Not a good news.. This move has been made by both ppp and pml n to tap media support.. How can a political commentator mr sethi now express unbiased views and specially against the parties who have selected him for this interim position. He will have to oblige for sure. In my opinion, selection of people associated with media should be banned for caretaker set up as they have sources to influence public opinion.

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  • Mar 26, 2013 - 10:48PM

    His appointment goes against the ethics of journalism, wherein journalists should not be stakeholders in the very processes that they are supposed to be covering and in the corruption that they are supposed to be unearthing, with impartiality. His appointment should be treated as sad news for journalism in Pakistan.

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  • Mujtaba
    Mar 26, 2013 - 10:52PM

    So does that mean no Apass ki baat? :/

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  • Mar 26, 2013 - 10:53PM

    If Najam Sethi is the CM, it means Malik Riaz is the CM. Well done, Bahria.

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  • Enlightened
    Mar 26, 2013 - 10:54PM

    Excellent choice. I have been watching episodes of Aapas ki baat and found his analysis devoid of any bias and logical as well. Though the post is temporary but it would surely give a great boost to other media personalities to join politics and clean the political system in Pakistan. However, he has to undergo an acid test of controlling terrorists and sectarian violence in Punjab during election time which is raising its ugly head in the state.

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  • Redi Gul
    Mar 26, 2013 - 10:55PM

    Thanks God that they reached a consensus, now it’s the Biggest test-case of Mr. Sethi’s career to cope with. Looking at his journalistic record, we hope that he will deliver the best possible. In the days to come, we will see, if he is ‘equipped’ enough to deal with the responsibility bestowed upon him or he is merely another Ajmal Khattak, Hussain Haqqani and Mushahid Hussain. Lets pray that he don’t loose his head, and do whatever with rationality and dignity.

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  • Syed
    Mar 26, 2013 - 11:07PM

    Najam Sethi. How is he? Will he be able to do anything while interm CM? can he target the terrorist producing madrassas? Would he have any power do make a difference in the short amount of time he has? Has he been in favor of any political party? I don’t know too much about him so hopefully I get an unbiased opinion of this guy.Recommend

  • asim
    Mar 26, 2013 - 11:09PM

    Najam Sethi does not meet article 62 of the constitution? Challenge for ECP

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  • londonistani
    Mar 26, 2013 - 11:14PM

    imagine this scenario tommorrow night:

    Mr CM hosting talk show on national tv. ……hahaha

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  • Well in Doubt
    Mar 26, 2013 - 11:24PM

    Have a bad feeling about this decision….

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  • Moni
    Mar 26, 2013 - 11:26PM

    Please restore YouTube….

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  • Blithe
    Mar 26, 2013 - 11:40PM

    Good , now let’s move on. Recommend

  • sensible
    Mar 26, 2013 - 11:41PM

    now his “chiria” will join the show.

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  • a central Punjabi
    Mar 26, 2013 - 11:45PM

    @A Punjabi:
    now what ever any one says specialy PTI fans out there Shahbaz is coming as 4th time elected CM pf punjab so be ready on 11 may to celebrate with ILZAM KHAN.

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  • Mar 26, 2013 - 11:47PM

    Zaid Hamid and Ahmed Quraishi just had cardiac arrest.

    All their rant about technocrat caretaker and Nazam got the crown.

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  • pakistani
    Mar 27, 2013 - 12:30AM

    What will muneeb farooq do for 40 odd days?

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  • James Bond
    Mar 27, 2013 - 1:17AM

    Hamid Mir would have been a better choice.

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  • Jibran
    Mar 27, 2013 - 1:24AM

    @londonistani: Mr CM hosting talk show on national tv. ……hahaha

    Very funny, funny man!
    On the serious side, I expect that he will not be hosting the talk show.

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  • concerned citizen
    Mar 27, 2013 - 2:38AM

    congrats najam sethi! a welcome decision! hope your views and opinions would translate positively in your new role. give us something we’d really remember you positively by.

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  • Narinder Singh
    Mar 27, 2013 - 5:36AM

    Respected Mr Najam Sethi,

    Congratulations for having been selected for a very hot job.
    Though, you have a very limited time as a caretaker CM but we do expect some marks of excellence from you.
    Good luck and may God bless you.

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  • Aysha
    Mar 27, 2013 - 5:45AM

    Apperas to have a conspitorial mind

    Just look at the title of the show ‘Aapus kee baat’, when the country is going through sensitive times such as now, he has birdie bringing in information which has little to do with nation building and conflict resolution.

    No other TV show has a title with such connotation as Sethi Saheb. Very disappointing after being an avid reader of his paper in the 90s

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  • Imtiaz hamid
    Mar 27, 2013 - 6:21AM

    I have enjoyed Apaas ki Baat does not mean I always agreed with him. He will be there perhaps for two months. his role is going to be very limited hopefully to have fair and free election. For this prime minister must stop ugly propaganda machine called ptv. Make it neutral, apolotical. just report news and donot take sides.Sethi should also make sure punjab govt machinery is not used for political ends. he can leave a mark of honesty and impartiality.If he deliberately fails this ,well wishes like me will be sorely disappointed.Then it also will be fascinating how he resumes his talk show after the election..Best of luck donot disappoint us

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  • Yaida M
    Mar 27, 2013 - 6:33AM

    Mr.Sethi is one of the few people in Pakistan who is not afraid of speaking the truth. If only Pakistan had a few dozen more of such people, all the trouble would be over. Great choice !!

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  • SH
    Mar 27, 2013 - 6:56AM

    Najam Sethi is brilliant, great decision!

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  • Mirza
    Mar 27, 2013 - 7:14AM

    Even though the temp setup would have neither time nor powers or will to make any major decision still this is one of the best selection in the current politics. At least Najam is honest, open and not apologist for the terrorists. He is not going to be Taliban buddy like most rightwing politicians and parties.

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  • Terry
    Mar 27, 2013 - 7:27AM

    @Enlightened:
    Najam Sethi’s anti Pakistan and anti Military comments in India have not been forgotten. Absolutely wrong choice, he will hurt Punjab more than anyone could have so far.

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  • Asjad
    Mar 27, 2013 - 9:02AM

    Man I am so gonna miss ur show …!Recommend

  • Repitae
    Mar 27, 2013 - 9:09AM

    The politician is an acrobat. He keeps his balance by saying the opposite
    of what he does. -Maurice Barres

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  • Muneer
    Mar 27, 2013 - 9:26AM

    Najam Sethi should consult PM/Federal Government for orders instead of telling the EC that it is your government.He has exhibited dictatorial tendencies from his very first statement.

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  • Wellwisher
    Mar 27, 2013 - 9:41AM

    Though a good choice his talk shows and “The Friday Times” articles will be missed by the public.
    And I thought the decision was that of Committee, but in this article it was said that his name was approved by PML-N. Is it the way to present the news.
    Hope election news would be given without bias on either side.

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  • PindiWal
    Mar 27, 2013 - 9:58AM

    Folks, seriously wrong with the system when current journalists and retired judges, not politician, head an interim setup – thoughts?

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  • M
    Mar 27, 2013 - 10:07AM

    To know thy self, just give him power; the lust of pwer indeed brings out the best out of one… indeed pretty shameful, not because he has been offered, rather coz he has accepted; and then again we are living in a lie that media has not to do much in influencing the political decisoins and the current situation(s).
    My country men, this is just the start; diluting the institutions roles have a lot more worse offerings

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  • LIAQAT ALI
    Mar 27, 2013 - 10:31AM

    I am a fan of Sethi and his all rounded and mostly nuetral analysis.Full marks to PMLN to agree on his name and to to PPP for proposing it in the first place.Victory for democracy.

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  • Aschraful Makhlooq
    Mar 27, 2013 - 10:40AM

    At least Najam Sethi is much the best person than any corrupt politician and people like Najam Sethi has to be the Chief Minister or at least Prime Minister or President……

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  • Sane
    Mar 27, 2013 - 11:03AM

    @ Wellwisher.. so much for the pseudonym. but you need to be democratic and give respect to the mandate of the rightists.. why do you think that only non-rightists can be well wishers of Pakistan?

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  • Iram
    Mar 27, 2013 - 11:19AM

    @Ch. Allah Daad: blessing for Lahore/Raiwind and especially PMLN.

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  • Kamran
    Mar 27, 2013 - 11:19AM

    An excellent choice!

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  • Shakeel Ahmed
    Mar 27, 2013 - 1:54PM

    The game is just begun

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  • Anjum
    Mar 27, 2013 - 8:40PM

    Sethi was a political prisoner from 1975-1977 during the regime of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto for protesting military action in Balochistan. In 1984, the regime of General Zia ul Haq put him in prison for one month for publishing “From Jinnah To Zia”, a book authored by the former chief justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, Justice Mohammad Munir. The book was a sort of mea culpa in which the author had admitted his grave error in legitimizing the first martial law in Pakistan in 1958, thereby paving the way for Gen Zia’s martial law in 1977. In 1999, he was again imprisoned by the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on trumped up charges of treason. The reason was relentless exposure of corruption in the Sharif family by The Friday Times. The Supreme Court of Pakistan later rejected the charges and freed him after one month. While in detention, he was tortured and suffered a heart attack, which necessitated heart surgery in 2000. The Sharif government harassed him later by slapping dozens of income tax cases, accused him of being a “non-Muslim” and tried to deprive him of his voting rights. But all the cases were dismissed by the courts and the his rights were restored by the Chief Election Commissioner.Recommend

  • Xnain
    Mar 29, 2013 - 10:59AM

    @Wellwisher:
    I’ve never seen somebody questioning and then self answering himself. Amazing indeed…,.

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