ISLAMABAD (Web Desk) –According to Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, ex-finance minister Hafeez Shaikh and a former Supreme Court judge are among those on the shortlist for caretaker Prime Minister (PM).
He stated that the name of the caretaker prime minister would be announced by Tuesday (tomorrow), adding that Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and previous Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi are not in the running.
Hafeez Shaikh was the finance minister of the federal government led by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). He was, however, dismissed from this position in March 2021.
The PTI pitted Sheikh against former Prime Minister and prominent leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party Yousaf Raza Gillani for the Senate seat, but Sheikh lost.
During an interview with a local news program, Rana Sana stated that the caretaker prime minister will be a ‘neutral’ individual with no party affiliation.
Concerning the nomination of Dar for temporary prime minister, the interior minister stated that when his (Dar’s) name was being circulated in the media, it was agreed that an apolitical individual would be chosen for the caretaker PM position.
He stated that if a decision was made to enable any political figure to be chosen for the PM position, the names of Dar, Abbasi, and Raza Rabbani would be considered.
When asked if Shaikh was prepared to serve as caretaker Prime Minister, the minister said, “Definitely, he must be.”
Tassaduq Hussain Jilani, a former Chief Justice of Pakistan, has been mentioned in the media as a possible caretaker Prime Minister.
Rana Sana intimated that elections may be postponed by 120 days since seats would have to be reconfigured in accordance with the new census, and it was the desire of all political parties and provinces that the upcoming general elections be held in accordance with the new census.
There will be no damage in extending the election date by a month or two. There will be no difficulty if elections are held in February or March of next year, according to the minister.
Ruling allies repose trust in PM Shehbaz for selecting caretaker PM
During a meeting on August 4, the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) and other coalition partners put their faith in Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in nomination of the caretaker prime minister.
The government has paced up consultation to finalise the caretaker setup as it has decided to prematurely dissolve the National Assembly on Aug 9.
A day earlier, PM Shehbaz told the allies at a dinner hosted by him in the federal capital that the assembly would be dissolved on Aug 9. He added that the decision about the caretaker prime minister would be taken in consultation with Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly and before that he would consult all allied parties.
Sources said the premier chaired a meeting of the allied parties, wherein they reposed trust in him for finalisation of a name for the caretaker PM slot.
They said the prime minister could nominate any suitable person for the slot. The ruling coalition also asked him to hold consultation on the names recommended by the opposition leader for the position.
Meanwhile, the names of former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, independent lawmaker from Balochistan Aslam Bhootani and Hafeez Shaikh are making the rounds as candidates for the caretaker prime minister.