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Khoso sworn in as Pakistan's caretaker prime minister

March 25, 2013 14:53 IST

Mir Hazar Khan Khoso was on Monday sworn in as Pakistan's caretaker Prime Minister by President Asif Ali Zardari during a ceremony held at the presidency. The ceremony was attended by former premiers Raja Pervez Ashraf and Yousuf Raza Gilani, leaders of political parties, top military officials, bureaucrats and diplomats.

Khoso sat on the dais alongside Zardari and Ashraf during the brief ceremony held a day after the 84-year-old former judge was chosen by the Election Commission as the caretaker prime minister to conduct the general election scheduled for May 11. After the prime minister and Leader of Opposition and a bipartisan parliamentary committee were unable to choose a caretaker premier after six days of deliberations, the matter was sent to the five-member Election Commission on Friday.

Following two days of discussions, Chief Election Commissioner Fakhruddin G Ebrahim announced on Sunday Khoso had been chosen for the slot. Most political parties, including the main opposition PML-N, have welcomed Khoso's appointment. However, Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan has expressed reservations about Khoso.

Khoso was among four candidates for the post of caretaker premier. While the PPP and its allies nominated Khoso and banker Ishrat Hussain, the PML-N proposed retired judge Nasir Aslam Zahid and Sindhi politician Rasool Baksh Palejo. A law graduate from KarachiUniversity, Khoso earlier served as chief justice of both the Balochistan high court and the Federal Shariah Court and as Acting Governor of Balochistan.

Khoso has said he intends to form a caretaker administration with about a dozen ministers. He has listed the law and order situation and the holding of free and fair polls as the top priorities of the interim government.

Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad