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Talks on caretaker Pak PM fails

Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Khursheed Shah on Tuesday failed to reach a consensus on the name of a caretaker prime minister who would take over the incumbent government by the end of this month.

Briefing the media, Shah said that another meeting with Abbasi will take place “either tomorrow or day after” to finalise the caretaker prime minister, Geo TV reported.

Shah added that he and Abbasi agreed to spend some more time on the matter so that the finalised name of the caretaker prime minister is recognised by the opposition parties as well.

“It would be good for the Parliament if this matter can be agreed upon in [the upcoming] meeting. If not, then [a committee] will be constituted, to which the names will be sent within three days and the majority decision will be [implemented],” he further said.

Sources said that the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has suggested prominent names for the post like – former Chief Justice of Pakistan (retd.) Nasir-ul-Mulk, former Chief Justice (retd.) Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, former Pakistan Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Abdullah Hussain Haroon and former State Bank of Pakistan governors, Dr. Shamshad Akhtar and Dr. Ishrat Hussain.

Pakistan’s permanent representative to the United Nations Dr. Maleeha Lodhi, as per sources, was missing from the list suggested by the central government. She was earlier touted as among the favourites for the caretaker prime minister’s post.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has finalised the names of lawmakers Zaka Ashraf and Jalil Abbas Jilani for the caretaker prime minister.

Sources further told Geo TV that Khursheed Shah had informed Ashraf and Jilani regarding the same and have forwarded their names to Abbasi and PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari.

The PML-N government is expected to conclude its five-year term on May 31, after which the caretaker government will take over to oversee the general elections in the country.

According to Geo TV, the caretaker prime minister, whose responsibility is to ensure that the elections are held in a transparent manner, is appointed by the prime minister in consultation with the opposition leader.

The political parties in the country present names of three nominees each from which the consensus candidate is appointed as the caretaker prime minister.

The Pakistan Election Commission has recommended July 25, 26 or 27 as probable dates for the forthcoming general elections in the country. The election schedule would be issued in the first week of June. (ANI)

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