Punjab interim CM: Najam Sethi's name approved

Rana Sanaullah announces the committee's decision. Hopes he would conduct free and fair elections.

Web Desk March 26, 2013

LAHORE: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Tuesday approved the name of journalist Najam Sethi for the Punjab caretaker chief minister slot, Express News reported. 

Hours before the matter would have gone to the Election Commission of Pakistan for a final solution, the PML-N, after a grand review meeting finalised the name of the award winning journalist.

Former law minister Rana Sanaullah while announcing the committee's decision explained the reason for the 11th hour announcement was that they had put forward their names after due consultation with other parties. In light of the options put forward by the opposition, and the need to deliberate on the names further, the PML-N had to consult those parties again.

"This morning, the consultations were on going."

"Constitutionally we are obligated to finalise a name by midnight, hence we kept ourselves open to the candidates proposed," Sanaullah said.

"The country has been listening to his unbiased analysis on television,  and we hope that he would now conduct free and fair elections."

Later, talking to the media, Najam Sethi said that this would be an experience.

“This is a temporary job. It is a time to put theory into practice.”

“I will consult chief election commissioner as policy making is not the job of caretaker government. I will tell the CEC that this is your government, whatever you order, we will comply. If our orders are not complied with, then I will come home.”

Earlier, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif ordered the parliamentary committee to hold another meeting and reach a consensus over the name of caretaker chief minister of Punjab, Express News reported on Tuesday.

Earlier during the day, the third and the final committee meeting had failed to reach a consensus and had forwarded the matter to the Election Commission of Pakistan. However, sources said that the Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) was concerned that the election commission might pick a candidate presented by the PPP, so they decided to call a review meeting.

"We still have time till midnight," Shahbaz told the media.

The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) nominated journalist Najam Sethi, Justice (r) Zahid Hussain, while the PML-N suggested the names of Justice (r) Amir Raza Khan and Khawaja Zaheer, a former bureaucrat.


Xnain | 11 years ago | Reply

@Wellwisher: I've never seen somebody questioning and then self answering himself. Amazing indeed...,.

Anjum | 11 years ago | Reply Sethi was a political prisoner from 1975-1977 during the regime of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto for protesting military action in Balochistan. In 1984, the regime of General Zia ul Haq put him in prison for one month for publishing “From Jinnah To Zia”, a book authored by the former chief justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, Justice Mohammad Munir. The book was a sort of mea culpa in which the author had admitted his grave error in legitimizing the first martial law in Pakistan in 1958, thereby paving the way for Gen Zia’s martial law in 1977. In 1999, he was again imprisoned by the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on trumped up charges of treason. The reason was relentless exposure of corruption in the Sharif family by The Friday Times. The Supreme Court of Pakistan later rejected the charges and freed him after one month. While in detention, he was tortured and suffered a heart attack, which necessitated heart surgery in 2000. The Sharif government harassed him later by slapping dozens of income tax cases, accused him of being a “non-Muslim” and tried to deprive him of his voting rights. But all the cases were dismissed by the courts and the his rights were restored by the Chief Election Commissioner.
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