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Ex-chief justice named Pakistan's caretaker PM

May 28, 2018 16:23 IST

Pakistan's former chief justice Nasirul Mulk was on Monday named as the country's caretaker prime minister for a two-month period, ending the political wrangling between ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and the opposition ahead of the general elections on July 25.

The announcement was made by Leader of the Opposition Khursheed Shah at a press conference in Islamabad which was also attended by incumbent Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq.

Mulk, 67, is likely to be sworn in on Friday, June 1.

 

The present government will complete the tenure on May 31 and the caretaker government will remain in office until a new government is set up through elections.

Shah expressed hope that Mulk will successfully conduct free, fair and impartial elections in Pakistan on July 25.

The announcement came after weeks of deadlock between the PML-N and the opposition over the name of the caretaker prime minister.

It took the government and the opposition six meetings to decide on a name for the position.

Though, Abbasi spoke first but he let Shah announce the name of the caretaker leader.

Abbasi described the agreed-upon candidate for the caretaker prime minister as someone "who no one can object to".

"His role as a caretaker PM will be in favour of the country and the democratic process," he said.

Announcing the name, Shah said the NA speaker had played a major role in both parties reaching an agreement.

"We have made a democratic decision. I am thankful to the PM, to the speaker, for making this decision with patience, setting aside emotion. The name of the person I would like to present is very respectable," the veteran PPP leader said.

"The name is Nasirul Mulk, who has remained a chief justice. He has played a historic role... in the judiciary and when he was a lawyer," he said.

The job of the caretaker prime minister is to keep the country running between the dissolution of parliament and the new government being sworn in.

Earlier, several names including retired Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, former State Bank governor Ishrat Hussian, former foreign secretary Jalil Abbas Jillani and former Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Zaka Ashraf were reportedly discusse by the two sides.

Mulk was born on August 17, 1950 in Mingora, Swat, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. He worked as lawyer and judge for several years before his appointment as the 22nd Chief Justice of Pakistan in 2014.

President Mamnoon Hussain on Saturday approved July 25 as the polling date for general and provincial elections.

Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf is expected to be the main challenger to the ruling party in the general elections.

In its 70-year-long history, the country experienced its first democratic transition of power in 2013, when Pakistan Peoples Party handed over the power to the PML-N, which had won the general elections.

Sajjad Hussain
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