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Former chief justice Nasirul Mulk named caretaker PM

ISLAMABAD: The government and the opposition have reached consensus over the name of former Chief Justice of Pakistan Nasirul Mulk for the slot of the caretaker prime minister to run the affairs of the government and supervise general elections.

This was announced at a joint press conference by opposition leader in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah, who was flanked by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq.

At the beginning of the presser, the premier said: “This is an important day of the country’s democratic journey in the days to come. We have reached consensus over a name for caretaker prime minister.”

Profile: Justice Nasirul Mulk

He said they have picked such a name for the slot that no one will object to.

Thanking all political parties for extending support in this regard, Shah said reaching consensus over a name for interim PM is a welcome sign. Justice Nasirul Mulk’s name has been picked up on the basis of merit, he said.

He expressed happiness over this consensus decision, saying they themselves will decide their future. The supremacy of Parliament comes first and that decisions are made in parliament, he added.

The opposition leader hoped that the party that will come to power after the 2018 polls will tackle the problems facing the country.

Speaking to reporters earlier after a meeting with the premier in the capital, Shah said: “The deadlock over a name for the interim prime minister has ended.”

He said the two leaders have reached a “fifty-fifty” consensus over a name from  the six nominees, three each proposed by the government and the opposition.

The opposition leader said he will meet PM Abbasi again before they both hold a joint press conference at 12:30 pm today in this regard.

The National Assembly is to complete its five-year term on May 31. The prime minister and the opposition leader are required to pick with consensus a name for the caretaker PM within three days of the dissolution of the assembly.

If they fail to reach consensus over a name for the slot, then the matter is referred to a parliamentary committee to be constituted by the Speaker of the National Assembly to discuss and nominate  the interim PM from four nominees, two each proposed by the government and the opposition.

Even if the parliamentary panel fails to finalise the caretaker prime minister, the matter goes to the Election Commission of Pakistan for a final decision.

Last week, the opposition leader in categorical terms said that there would no further talks with the premier over the caretaker prime minister and that the parliamentary committee would now finalise a name for the slot.

In previous meetings the government suggested the names of former chief justices of Pakistan Justice (retd) Nasir-ul-Mulk and Justice (retd) Tassaduq Hussain Jillani. The opposition leader floated the names of Zaka Ashraf and Jalil Abbas Jilani for the position.

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