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PPP floats Zaka Ashraf, Jalil Abbas’s name for caretaker PM

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has recommended two names – former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Zaka Ashraf and former Pakistani envoy in Washington Jalil Abbas Jilani – for the slot of the caretaker prime minister to lead an interim set-up to run day-to-day affairs of the government.

PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari finalised the names after consultations, ARY News reported quoting sources with knowledge of the matter.

Afterwards, the PPP co-chairman contacted and informed both nominees about the decision.

Ashraf has served as the chairman of the PCB and adviser to Sindh Chief Minister. Whereas, Jilani, a career diplomat, has served as foreign secretary and Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States.

He has also served as ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Union, and High Commissioner to Australia.

Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah last week said he and Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will meet on Tuesday (tomorrow) to finalise a name for the caretaker premier.

He said hopefully the name would be announced on the same day.

Earlier, the PTI has mooted three names, which are; former commerce minister Abdul Razzaq Dawood, former chief justice of Pakistan Tasadduq Jilani and former governor State Bank Dr. Ishrat Hussain.

Abdul Razzaq Dawood served as commerce minister during Musharraf regime. He continued as the minister from 1999 to 2002.

While, Mr. Jillani served as the 21st Chief Justice of Pakistan from 12 December 2013 to 5 July 2014. Dr. Ishrat Hussain was the State Bank governor from 1999 to 2006. In 2013, Pakistan People’s Party had also proposed Ishrat Hussain as caretaker PM but the PML-N rejected the proposal.

In an interview last month, PM Abbasi had said the caretaker premier should be such a person, who remains undisputed and non-controversial, and whose past is clear.

Mr. Abbasi said there was no logic in delaying the upcoming elections as any holdup in that regard would be dangerous for Pakistan.

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