Talks continue: Could caretakers present budget?

Published: February 7, 2012
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PM Gilani assured opposition parties that he would announce the caretaker set up in May, right after the verification of the voter list would be completed.

PM Gilani assured opposition parties that he would announce the caretaker set up in May, right after the verification of the voter list would be completed.

LAHORE: 

The negotiations between Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) have seen a wide range of topics discussed, according to various sources privy to the talks.

One of the more interesting topics is when to set up the caretaker government.

Sources in the PML-N told The Express Tribune that Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani assured opposition parties that he would announce the caretaker set up in May, right after the verification of the voter list would be completed.

Sources in PPP and PML-Q also told The Express Tribune something similar – and took it a step further: They said that the PPP and PML-Q have suggested that the next budget be presented by the caretaker set up. The argument was that an elected political government could not afford to announce a non-peoples friendly budget, which was the need of the hour given the state of Pakistan’s economy. Drastic steps would be required to tackle debt issues and other expenditure cuts – and an interim set up would be perfect to do this.

Sources said that, when this was brought up, opposition parties expressed their reservations, saying that government wanted to pawn off its baggage. Opposition parties have not yet agreed to this proposal – however, they said that all have agreed that this issue would be discussed in May.

Meanwhile, other breakthroughs are said to have been reached during Monday’s talks.

According to sources, it has been decided that the current four members should be awarded five-year terms.  However, PPP’s demand of an extension in the tenure of incumbent Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Justice (retd) Hamid Ali Mirza has been rejected and it has been decided to appoint a new consensus CEC.

It has been decided that the removal of the existing members of ECP should be made as difficult as the removal of judges of superior courts – i.e. references have to be sent to the Supreme Judicial Council.

Sources further said that PPP has almost agreed to the PML-N’s proposal that a commission should be formed for the new provinces issue.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 7th, 2012. 

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Reader Comments (6)

  • Feb 7, 2012 - 12:29PM

    first of all setting up a caretaker Gov. will be a great challenge for PPP and its coalition partners

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  • Nadeem
    Feb 7, 2012 - 1:42PM

    Its good to see that issues are being resolved on the discussion table rather than in courts or talk shows.

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  • Salman Nisar
    Feb 7, 2012 - 2:18PM

    Cant Wait To Vote For PTI now!

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  • K Ali
    Feb 7, 2012 - 6:31PM

    After being betrayed by PPP so many times, I am amazed that PMLN are willing to trust them on anything. I guess some people never learn

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  • Mirza
    Feb 7, 2012 - 6:37PM

    Political issue are dealt in a diplomatic way and it scares many rightwing forces. It would be a great achievement if the next elections are held by independent elections commission. All talks of revolution and backdoor changes would be swept away by the nationalist and democratic forces.

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Feb 7, 2012 - 11:59PM

    Instead of having a civilian government for 5 years or a military government for much longer period than 5 years, I am of the opinion that Pakistan should be permanently run by the caretaker government.

    The plus point of running a permanent caretaker government will be that any mister or even the Prime Minster will not come in power for 5 years but he can be removed at any time by the people of Pakistan.

    Similarly, the ministers whether Provincial or the Federal will also be not there for 5 years and can be removed any time in case if a complaint of corruption is received from the masses.

    The caretaker government should consist of honest and non-political people who will be working for Pakistan in much more and dignified manner.

    It can also present budget in the National and Provincial Assemblies as we have a lot of Chartered Accountants in the country.

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