The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has started communicating with other opposition parties, including those which do not have representation in parliament, over nominations for the post of an interim prime minister.
“… Yes, we have sent a list of shortlisted candidates for interim PM to other groups in the opposition,” PML-N’s Senator Parvez Rashid confirmed to The Express Tribune on Sunday.
“We have sent the list and are waiting for their response,” he said, adding that they could take their time.
In addition, a PML-N official said that party chief Nawaz Sharif is scheduled to discuss the strategy to contact other political parties to discuss the upcoming general elections in a meeting to be held in Murree on Monday (today).
Earlier, Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said his party would forward names of shortlisted candidates to opposition parties, including the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), for consensus over three candidates that would later be shared with the government for a final decision.
However, some of the opposition parties denied any such development.
When contacted, PTI spokesperson Shafqat Mehmood said, “The PML-N has not contacted the PTI yet.”
Earlier, PTI’s Javed Hashmi reacted strongly to Nisar’s announcement of finalising a list of nine candidates for the interim prime minister post. Hashmi claimed that the two largest parties — the PML-N and the PPP — were conspiring to deprive the Imran Khan-led PTI of its ‘due role’ in the process of selecting interim leaders.
Liaqat Baloch from the Jamat-e-Islami also said that the PML-N had not yet contacted his party over the nominations. He, however, added that the JI would respond positively if consulted by the main opposition party. Some reports suggested that the PML-N had already concluded the process of taking fellow opposition parties on board over the nominations for the key slot.
According to the 20th Constitutional Amendment, a caretaker prime minster will be chosen through consultations between the premier and the National Assembly opposition leader.
Both are allowed to propose three names each, and subsequently choose one.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 3rd, 2012.