Shehbaz proposes four names for caretaker CM

Aftab Sultan and Zakaullah are new entrants in the proposed list


Rameez Khan June 03, 2018
PHOTO: AFP/FILE

LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister  proposed four names for the slot of caretaker chief minister of Punjab prior to his last expected meeting with opposition leader Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed on Sunday (today).

At the same time, Punjab Law minister Rana Sanaullah and opposition leader Mehmoodur Rasheed were in discussion till the filing of this report. If the two reach a consensus, the meeting between Shehbaz and Rasheed will not take place.

The Chief Minister’s Office said the names proposed by the government were former director general of Information Bureau Aftab Sultan, ex-Naval chief Admiral (retd) Zakaullah, Justice (retd) Siar Ali and former IGP Tariq Saleem Dogar. Of the four names, Aftab Sultan and Zakaullah were new entrants in the proposed list, whereas the other two had been doing the rounds since the start of discussions between the two sides.

Shehbaz pitches four names to break deadlock over Punjab caretaker CM

According to sources in PML-N, Sultan has recused himself from the race. Sources revealed that he has conveyed his decision to the party leadership. It was further revealed that he was considered close of deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif and did not want to draw social media ire. Referring to Nasir Mehmood Khosa, the sources said a honourable former civil servant has already been turned into a controversial figure. Khosa was slated to take over as the caretaker CM.

Sources further revealed that a meeting was expected between Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif and the opposition leader on Sunday (today) to decide the best candidate for the position of caretaker chief minister. Out of the seven names in total, three are proposed by the government, as mentioned above, and four names were recommended by the opposition. The names proposed by the opposition leader were Orya Maqbool Jan, Dr Hassan Askari, Yaqoob Izhar and Ayaz Mir. If both sides failed to reach consensus, the matter would be referred to the parliamentary committee.

According to article 224 A (2), in case a chief minister and the leader of the opposition of the outgoing provincial assembly do not agree on a name within three days of the dissolution of that assembly, two nominees shall be forwarded by each to a committee. The committee will be formed by the speaker of the assembly and comprise six members of the outgoing provincial assembly. The committee shall have equal representation from the treasury and the opposition.

The article further reads that the committee constituted shall finalise the name of the caretaker prime minister or caretaker chief minister, as the case may be, within three days of the referral of the matter to it: provided that in case of inability of the committee to decide the matter in the aforesaid period, the names of the nominees shall be referred to the Election Commission of Pakistan for a final decision within two days. The incumbent prime minister and the incumbent chief minister shall continue to hold office till the appointment of the caretaker prime minister and caretaker CM, as the case may be.

Talking to The Express Tribune on Thursday, Senator Perviez Rashid, a close aide of Nawaz Sharif, had said the party decided to let the matter go to the Election Commission of Pakistan.

He added after the level of immaturity projected by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), PML-N does not feel there was any further room for any dialogue. Spokesperson for the Punjab Government Malik Muhammad Ahmad Khan said hypothetically speaking, if the parliamentary committee agrees to their proposed names in coming three days, what is the guarantee they wouldn’t back out again.

He said that under such uncertain circumstances, PML-N believes it was best that the matter to go to the ECP. He said the Punjab law minister Punjab was in consultation with the opposition leader for the sake of formality.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 3rd, 2018.

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