LAHORE: In response to rights activist and legal expert Asma Jahangir's statement against Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and its Chairman Imran Khan after the party rejected her name for the post of caretaker prime minister, spokesperson Shafqat Mahmood has said, “there is nothing personal against Asma Jahangir, but she just not fit the criterion to be caretaker Prime Minister.”
Chairperson Imran Khan had earlier said Asma Jahangir was not acceptable to his party as the caretaker prime minister because of her views on the Supreme Court and her closeness to the PPP.
PTI had laid down three necessary preconditions before somebody could be considered for the important post of caretaker prime minister during the election period, the spokesperson said.
The preconditions demand:
- The person nominated should be completely neutral.
- The person nominated should respect national institutions particularly the judiciary.
- The person nominated should have the necessary administrative experience to run the machinery of the state for the caretaker period and particularly able to ensure a free and fair election.
According to the spokesperson, “Asma Jahangir does not fit any of the above three criterion. She has frequently attacked Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf in the past and continues to do so.”
“As a citizen in a democracy she is free to hold any views,” said the party spokesman, “but for someone required to conduct a free and fair election, Jahangir is clearly biased and does not fit the bill.”
The spokesperson further added: “Asma Jahangir clearly has little respect for the superior judiciary as a number of her statements attacking the courts testify. On this criterion too, she does not fit the bill to be caretaker prime minister.”
The spokesperson considered her lack of administrative experience as another hurdle.
Since elections are just round the corner, the probable names for a caretaker prime minister are under discussion.
PTI strategic meeting
PTI's leaders gathered at the PTI central secretariat in Islamabad on Tuesday evening for a political strategy committee (PSC) meeting under the chairmanship of party chief Imran Khan.
The meeting reviewed the prevalent political situation in the country and other party’s contacts with other likeminded political forces for possible alliance and seat-adjustments for the upcoming elections.
ECP should be reconstituted
PTI on Tuesday called for reconstitution of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and expressed its concerns over the failure of the ECP to implement Supreme Court’s order for conducting delimitations and voters’ verification in Karachi.
Expressing its full confidence in the chief election commissioner, the meeting voiced its concerns over the poor performance of the ECP in implementation of the apex court orders as well as checking the misuse of state resources by federal and Punjab governments. The meeting said that the four members of the ECP appointed by the provincial governments should be appointed afresh and only non-partisan individuals should be appointed to overlook the polls.
The committee observed that despite several letters written and evidence produced to the CEC about the misuse of taxpayers’ money for election campaigns by federal and provincial governments, the ECP has yet to take any action to bring this practice to an end.
The committee also discussed the ‘jobs-for-votes policy’ of the federal and provincial governments and stated that despite ECP’s banning of new inductions, job were being doled out to the people with notifications being made in back-dates.
The PSC said that the government and its institutions should have taken all necessary steps to create conducive environment for holding free, fair and transparent general elections in the country.
The PTI meeting reiterated its demand for resignation of President Asif Zardari, stating that being the co-chairman of the PPP.
The party argued that Zardari could not do justice with his role of overseeing the general elections as the president while still being party co-chairman, hence, his stay in the presidency would put the election process under a cloud.
About possible electoral alliances with other political parties, the PSC reiterated its stance that the PTI was ready to talk with those political parties which are not part of federal or provincial governments.
PTI President Makhdoom Javed Hashmi and PTI Vice Chairman Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi briefed the committee on the political contacts made with different political parties in this regard.
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Its not that she doesn't fit those 3 criteria, but rather for the last 10-15 years she has been badmouthing Pakistan in general, especially when visiting India. So the basic requirement of patriotism comes into question.
The person nominated should be completely neutral. No one more Neutral than ALMAS BOBBY The person nominated should respect national institutions particularly the judiciary. No one seems to have more respect for Judges these days than Tahir Ul Qadri The person nominated should have the necessary administrative experience to run the machinery of the state for the caretaker period and particularly able to ensure a free and fair election. Now this is tricky, An Army Chief would have loads of such experience.
There Problem Solved.
She doesn't feel shy in sharing her biased views against PTI. How can she be called neutral then?
I have a few questions for the PTI and would be grateful if someone from the party could come forward and answer them for me and many others, who — in my opinion — must have the same apprehensions in their minds. One, the PTI has made a pledge to increase the education budget of this country from two percent — at present — to five percent. How will the education sector absorb this massive increase, as according to my understanding the education infrastructure is not equipped to absorb such extensive injections of money. Two, I want to know about the PTI’s policy vis-à-vis extremism and sectarian issues, which are some very serious problems faced by Pakistan today and seeing a representative of the PTI attending a public meeting of religious political parties arranged in Lahore on Sunday was a little disturbing to be honest. I would also like an explanation from the PTI regarding its position on the Kalabagh Dam and last but not least, how it intends to resuscitate the economy of Pakistan from all its crises. While the current politicians have tried to resolve economic issues by political methods — all of which have resulted in failure — if the PTI has any different plans that are workable, I am sure that they will not only help the party in the long run but also this country to achieve some of its distant economic goals.
Only some sort of brainless zombie administrator would satisfy this criteria since expressing any political opinions leads to at least one of the points not being met.
I think Asma J. is a real upright lady who has the ability to set aside her personal biases. She would have been very objective. But oh well I guess...
@Naeem: i dont know about BB, but when NS became PM he had already served as CM and Finance Minister of Punjab
@John the Baptist: or should I say Yahya bin Zakariya, either ways it makes no difference as a rose by any other name, would smell just as sweet. My point in the earlier comment had nothing to do with religious bigotry, but obsequious behavior, by someone as well known as this termagant. Specially with the rabid elements in a country with which we have an uneasy relationship in the least, is quite unacceptable. That to me seems to be a more serious offense than her affinity with other political parties. Do you think Mr. Modi, Mr. Advani etc coming to Pakistan, will ever wear shalwar kameez, sherwani, jinnah cap and touch the feet of that odious hafeez saeed.? She did not show any self respect, behave with dignity and or has shown any pride in being a proud Pakistani. At every forum she has openly portrayed negative images of her country. Self critiicism to an extent is fine but self hatred?
After hearing Asma Jehangir speak at an college in Massachusetts a couple of years ago, I vehemently agree with IK. The woman is a PPP-jiyala and is not competent enough to address 300 american college students, forget become the caretaker PM of Pakistan. She is stuck in Zia-ul-Haq time zone and she cannot tell the difference between a diplomatic interaction with an American Ambassador and addressing college students. Not even a remotely articulate speaker..and certainly not the brightest lawyer in the lot. I really hope IKs very on-point criticisms are taken into account and this person is kept out of power and kept from embarrassing the nation further.
So by the same three point criteria all the current and former judges who are quite openly anti-PPP are out of the race? So are all Balochs and Sindhis because for very obvious reasons they are critical of one particular institution and ofcourse Mr Khan himself because he clearly does not respect the institutions of Presidency or the Parliament.
@Yasir Mian: You are PML(N) supporter and trying to show that you are PTI supporter no. We know you very well.
PTI has nothing to do with Yasir Mian.
@Care Taker: No, he does not! and that's why he is not the candidate for caretaker PM. For regular PM, its the people of Pakistan who will decide.
PTI is rejecting the name of prominent right activist and champion of rule of law Asma Jahangir, just because she did criticize IK and PTI. What a height of intolerance! Secondly they want a caretaker PM who has administrative experience, but even IK has no serious administrative experience in his CV except Team captain-ship. So how can IK as novice become eligible for PM slot as per their own benchmarks, that means Shah Mehmood Qureshi should become PTI PM in next govt :)
Brother I hope you realise that this Yasir Mian represents nothing more than the cancer that has been eating away at Pakistan since the early 50s - people like him are an embarrassment to the country both at home and abroad. Frankly speaking, the army should have 'dealt with' this kind of backward mentality when they first deployed on the streets of Lahore in 1953, but now we have a much larger problem on our hands. I couldn't care less what religion our caretaker PM or our actual PM follows - it's not as if any of our 'pious' and 'Muslim' leaders have brought any nobility or credibility to the country over the past 65 years.
As for PTI's request, I think it is completely justified - AJ is nothing more than a disgrace, a pseudo-intellectual masquerading as some sort of heavyweight decision-maker. Most of the people defending her here would most probably have no love for her normally, but have suddenly seen an avenue to bash IK a little more. I personally don't care much for IK, but I can see cynical hatred when it's in plain view, like it is here.
Imran Khan for PM
According to the ISI/establishment touts who are the self-declared patriots for all times and everyone else needs to get their patriotisms certificate from them.
i'm a pti votter and i support asma jahangir as the caretaker PM. She is a sane voice with good standing internationally. she can facilitate a fair & free election. In the presence of vibrant media, court and the election commission no caretaker PM will have any influence on elections. PTI should grow up now and learn to agree to disagree. And everyone who disagrees with the PTI policies is not its enemy!!!
I don't see any PTI supporter complaining about it, who otherwise are quick to bite back if anything is said against Imran.
PTI should nominate Afia Siddiqui for care taker PM
I do not understand all the bashing. A name was put forth, and the party believes it to be closer to one of the rival parties (nobody can question this by the way) and thus rejects the name. Why is everyone so taken aback and reacting like PTI has done something terribly wrong? This is nothing personal against Asma Jehangir. PTI has reiterated that the party does not believe that she is corrupt. The three points that the party has mentioned are also fair. To abstain from rejecting names just for the sake of it, or nominating one of their own names, PTI has put forth three fair points that should be respected by all the parties that are willing to have free and fair elections in the country. God save our country from those political geniuses who sit behind a computer screen and criticize just for the sake of it.
You deduced all this since you know Yasir Mian is right hand of Imran Khan and reflects PTI's policies?
Thanks for sharing the information about her excellency Asma Jahangir's trip to India--she looks stunning in saffron and the bindya suits her well. Her picture in this attire on the wall of national assembly hall next to Karakul cap clad Jinnah's will look absoluely stellar! Hey Bhagvan, yeh kiya dunya banaee hai tu nay!
@"Qadiani should not be a prime minister"
Let me remind this person that unless discriminiation against Ahmadis (Fact: Pakistan may not have formed without their contribution) is not lifted Pakistan will remain sectarian battleground and at war with itself. These mullahs need to grow up and breathe the air of open-mindedness.
@Yasir Mian: Shame on you
PTI has absolutely solid stance. Although their popularity has decreased but every survey has shown that they are the second biggest party in Pakistan. How can Asma be a Caretaker PM when she is not acceptable to the second largest party. Apart from the constitutional criteria, on which she clearly fails, she also does not have the attitude of a care taker PM. She has the natural ability to alienate people whereas the slot she is striving for requires an all encompassing attitude.
Why is that every time PTI asks for something that is based on political morals and ethics, all the cobra gunships at ET start shooting it down? Is Imran now the only honest person left in Pakistan who talks about doing things right? Has everyone else turned into a darbari to the zil-e-elahis of political mafias or convinced themselves that we are just hopelessly corrupt and cannot and should not strive for betterment? Sad, sad behavior!
Not Fit ...
Agree that this harridan does not qualify as PM. Look at her behavior in India, in front of Bal Thakeray and Narinder Modi. Is that the type of PM we want? Deserve possible, but do we want a member of the saffron brigade to be our leader. She needs to clarify her position on the Gujrat riots and the oppression in Kashmir amongst other things. Just google her trip and you will find her dress, he speeches and her demeanor whilst in Hindustan.
Why beat about the bush, she is not PM caliber as simple as that
I have never seen anyone as confuse and lost as IK. Good for cricket though in his hey days. He cannot run his smal party efficiently, running a populus country as big as Pakistan is a far fetch theory. Need someone like Musharraf (Not Musharraf).
Asma clearly is unfit for the job, nothing notable to her credit, however in the same breath Imran Khan also not worthy if 62-63 applied to him.
@roadkashehzada: We are talking about Care Taker PM. Do you think the current PM fits that criteria? Or even BB or MNS would not fit when they became PM for the first time. IK is even far more capable than those 2, let alone AJ.
@Nasir: "@Care Taker: Yes IK does qualify with flying colors, based on Shaukat Khanam and NAMAL."
He is a leading contender for power and he qualifies as completely neutral?
Ahsan Iqbal in a live talk show has offered caretaker PMship to IK through Jahangir Tareen only if IK would promise in writing that he would accept the election results in whatever form they might transpire. The aghast Tareen's only response was that Iqbal must be joking!! This clearly hints at the gospel fact that even PTI knows that a) PTI would never win an election. It would thank its lucky star if it would not loose an average Punjab constituency by a margin of 10K votes if not more b) PTI would resort to its tried and test formula of face saving - BOYCOTT!!
I have stated elsewhere that the job of ensuring free and fair elections really falls on the EC not the caretaker Prime Minister. In India for instance it is the opposition that will complain if the government is abusing its privileges to buy votes and EC will review and stop any hanky panky. So as long as there is confidence in the EC there is not even a need to have a caretaker set up. But given that the PAkistani constitution des refer to a caretaker set up, I would imagine the role of the caretaker Prime Minister is there just to keep the ship afloat in the interim so that the country is not headless in case there is an emergency of some sort.
In light of the role of the caretaker Prime Minister, let us examine these criteria, whether they are appropriate for the role of cartaker Prime Minister and whether Asma meets them. 1. Anyone who is patriotic and above the age of 23 has probably voted in an election and also will have some idea of who they wil vote for in this election. Such a person canot be described as completely neutral. So is this even a reasonable criteria ? Or should the ask be for someone who can be even handed in performing the task regardless of what their personal preferences are? 2. There is a difference between respect for judiciary and respect for a specific judge or agreeing with every decision of a judge. Asma was leading the independent judiciary movement. In any case it is not possible for some to be the President of the Bar without actually having respect for the judiciary. IF she critiques some of judiciary's actual decisions that does not amount to disrespect for the judiciary. 3. Having someone who has executive experience of Prime Minister level is a difficult ask since all such people would be actually contesting elections themselves. What is perhaps needed is someone with a reputation for integrity and someone who can make her/himrself heard in case there is need to confront special interest. Basically one would expect that the various ministries would carry on BAU functioning and the caretaker prime minister would only be needed to be involved if there is some emergency or crisis decision needed to be taken. By definition this person is not responsible for designing any policies. So all you need is someone who has the intellectual bandwidth to learn new things in a short time and show good judgment in implementation.
Obviously the issue is not Asma. Even if she is not the one who is chosen, there is a need for PTI to review these criteria and also how compliance to these criteria would be measured.
This is a bit unnecessary from PTI. Asma Jehangir commands respect and is known to be brutally honest. She would be a very good choice. IK needs to play smartly and accept this and then use it to negotiate the reconstruction of ECP which is a justified demand and is much more critical in the scheme of things.
Bring back Raja Geelani for a short period. He was good and obeyed the orders of the Supreme court and quit.
The cat is now out of the bag. PTI being a party of religious bigots is the actual cause of anger against Asma. Nothing to do with judiciary or anything else. Excellent! PTI has just shot itself in the foot by admitting the real reason for opposing Asma.
Why would any sane person support a controversial lady for seat of care-taker PM? She has already done a lot in past which put her patriotism at big question mark.
@Care Taker: these are the rules for to be a caretaker prime minister and we all know that IK has not put forward his name for caretaker
Comments here does not represent the common Pakistanis. They think entirely different from you guys.
If that is the case then how come the azad judiciary which throws contempt case at every passer-by has not called Asma on that? Is judiciary a baby that needs PTI's heavy handedness? If so then how can PTI declare it azad adliyya?
Why? PTI are a party of religious bigots? In that case it’s PTI who should be banned for inciting religious hatred and bigotry. This statement has made it clear that PTI is towing the line of religious extremists and bigots, nothing to do with the interest of the country.
@Yasir Mian: Shame on you...
Imran Khan fails all 3 criteria:He is not neutral: he is pro-taliban. He should respect the national institution: the presidency. He has zero experience as a political administrator.
Imran Khan is right.. Asma should not be PM of Pakistan Ever,.
I am not tooo familiar with political terms and i do not know what this caretaker is ? nd what would be its responsibility ?
I am not a supporter of IK but the point is perfectly made. It is only the grace of this land of the mediocre that AJ, who flunked school three years in a row can garner the sort of credibility that she has.....thanks to her Western sponsors.There is also something quite personal between her and IK's sister over a stolen camera where AJ got her son off the hook by begging CM Elahi but the other poor kid got stuck in a horrible, probably government arranged plot
Why can you not compare IK with AJ?
Simply because the interim PM is SELECTED, while the PM is ELECTED. That's the difference.
Democracy doesn't care for past record, so anyone of you wannabe experts can stand for elections with your own party, provided you are not constitutionally barred from doing so.
@Naeem: judge IK on these points for full time prime minister specially the last one
PMLN shud bring PTI in consultation and must not give a chance to PTI to capitalise on this matter. give them their caretaker PM without making it an issue
Only one man fits the Job then. Doc Abdul Qadeer Khan
@Care Taker: IK established SKMH and ran very successfully as chairman for years. He then established NAMAL and IKF and ran those very successfully. He led Pakistan Cricket (as a player, captain, manager and decision maker) for years and that too very successfully. So YES!
Even Imran Khan does not fit under 62/63, will he then please not stand in elections if he is really so principled? PTI is towing establishment's line.
Good clear and concise response, but for the anti-Imran/anti-PTI brigade...they will once against twist this and condemn Imran/PTI for reasons that exist only in there head(s). lol!
@Care Taker: Yes IK does qualify with flying colors, based on Shaukat Khanam and NAMAL.
PTI has taken some very unpopular stances lately. THIS is one of them.
We can not accept Qadiani as a care taker Primeminister.
PTI would find many people who have respected and obeyed the institutions and are faithful to generals even after the imposition of military rule. Who would not love the PCO judges who have never failed to support and endorse every military takeover? ZAB was hanged by the LHC and SC. Anybody who is critical of these institutions is not fit to be PM.
Does IK qualify?
Very solid response from PTI and the three point criteria is also fair.
Do they want someone from the Difa-e-Pakistan Council? After all, PTI did send their representatives to their rallies.
PTI ur late .Everyone has already said all this so I don't see a reason you doing this apart from staying in news and letting people know that ur very serious about this issue."for PTI family... Now start commenting PTI WILL WIN n all irrelevant materiel.
Amen to that!!!
She has criticised PTI in the past, how can they accept her as care taker..... preferably, someone non-controversal, person like achakzai shud be made caretaker pm
How can anyone be completely neutral unless they were living under a rock their whole life!
Time to grab some popcorn :)
And does Imran Khan or PTI fit the criteria of being so called national leader and party when they haven't got any representation in the parliament to speak of. And oh yes, youtube videos and facebook fanboi pages don't count as votes in a democracy.