It appears that Justice (retd) Nasir Aslam Zahid is becoming a frontrunner among opposition nominees for the slot of the caretaker prime minister.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has also endorsed his nomination and party chairman Imran Khan has backed his name for the top slot in the interim set-up, a day after the largest opposition party of the country – Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) – unveiled three names for the interim prime minister which included Justice Zahid.
“Yes, we endorse PML-N’s nominees. Justice Zahid is our first choice for the caretaker prime minister,” PTI General Secretary Dr Arif Alvi confirmed to The Express Tribune on Thursday.
On Wednesday, the PML-N contacted PTI Secretary General Alvi to forge consensus on its chosen names for the top slot. Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan finally put an end to a week-long guessing game about the caretaker premier after choosing three names which were later sent to the government.
“We have endorsed all the names and verbally responded to PML-N’s request today (Thursday),” Alvi said.
PTI’s Information Secretary Shafqat Mahmood said that all three names put forward by PML-N including Justice (retd) Zahid, Justice (retd) Shakirullah Jan and Rasul Bakhsh Paleejo were eminent people and qualified to assume the challenging mantle of the caretaker prime minister.
Imran Khan’s press conference
The party chief warned that PTI would move the Supreme Court against the government in case of certain legislation unacceptable to his party.
“If the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and PML-N get the Tax Amnesty Bill passed from Parliament, we will knock the doors of the Supreme Court.”
PTI would not award party tickets to bank defaulters, tax evaders and corrupt politicians, he vowed. To a question on the creation of new provinces, Khan said, “It will be disastrous for the state if the government takes such a decision in haste.”
He added: “PTI would press the Election Commission of Pakistan to hold free, fair and transparent elections otherwise it would trigger a bloodbath in the country.”
Regarding the intra-party elections, Khan said, “We will most likely finalise these elections before March 23.”
(WITH ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY OUR CORRESPONDENT IN LAHORE)
Published in The Express Tribune, March 8th, 2013.
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