Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Leader of the Opposition Khurshid Shah on Monday named former chief justice of Pakistan Nasirul Mulk caretaker prime minister following six rounds of talks.
Interim prime ministers, finalised following deliberations between the government and opposition, are tasked with leading a caretaker setup before general elections are conducted.
With the nation on the verge of experiencing its second democratic transfer of power, The Express Tribune presents brief profiles of select caretaker premiers over the years.
Justice (retd) Nasirul Mulk
Justice (retd) NasirulMulk, a former law professor, served as the Peshawar High Court chief justice before being elevated to the Supreme Court in 2005.
Mulk was nominated as chief justice of Pakistan by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in 2014. He has also served as an acting chief election commissioner of Pakistan from November 30, 2013 to July 6, 2014. The ‘English judge’ is remembered for exercising judicial restraint to great acclaim.
Justice (retd) Mir Hazar Khoso (March 25, 2013 to Jun 4, 2013)
A venerated officer, Justice (retd) Mir Hazar Khan Khoso, hailed from Goth Azam Khan Khoso in Jaffarabad district of Balochistan.
Nominated by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), the 89-year-old’s first political appointment came as the Balochistan acting governor – an office he kept for three months after the death of then Governor Muhammad Musa, who served as the 10th governor of the province from December 17, 1985 to March 12, 1991. Having served as judge of the Balochistan High Court (BHC), Khoso was named Balochistan High Court chief justice in 1990.
Khoso remained fairly uncontroversial and maintained a distance from politics. Owing to the respect and trust he enjoyed from Baloch nationalist leaders and separatists, the then ruling party considered him a pivotal asset with regard to forging national unity.
After retiring from the provincial court in September, 1991, Khoso took up the office of Federal Shariat Court judge. In 1994, he was the Federal Shariat Court chief justice following a few years of distinguished service.
Muhammad Mian Soomro (November 16, 2007 to March 24, 2008)
Former senator Muhammad Mian Soomro hails from an influential Sindhi feudal family.
Soomro served as the Senate chairman from 2003 to 2009, Sindh governor from May 25, 2000 to December 26, 2002 and caretaker president after Pervez Musharraf stepped down. Soomro remained interim head of state from August 18, 2008 to September 9, 2008
A banker by profession, Soomro comes from a family active in national politics since the 1920s. His father, Ahmed Mian Soomro was West Pakistan Assembly speaker and Senate member.
Malik Meraj Khalid (November 5, 1996 to February 16, 1997)
Left-wing statesman Malik Meraj Khalid, a founding member of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), rose from humble origins to enjoy an enviable reputation as the party’s resident philosopher.
A law graduate, Khalid established his own law firm in 1948, around six years after starting to practice.
He served as Punjab chief minister from 2 May, 1972 to 12 November, 1973 before serving as law minister till March 20, 1977. He was the National Assembly speaker from December 3, 1988 to November 4, 1990.
Moeenuddin Ahmad Qureshi (July 18 1993 – October 19 1993)
Economist Moeenuddin Qureshi was a political nonentity when asked by former president Ghulam Ishaq Khan to head a technocratic government. Qureshi’s appointment came at a time when the nation was convulsed in the 1993 constitutional crisis.
A reluctant Qureshi returned to Islamabad and assumed office. He has also served as a World Bank vice president .