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Shehbaz Sharif meets Leader of Opposition for discussion on caretaker PM

The first round of discussion regarding the appointment of a caretaker Prime Minister of Pakistan was held between Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

Shehbaz Sharif meets Leader of Opposition for discussion on caretaker PM

PM Shehbaz meets Leader of Opposition Raja Riaz ( Image: ANI)

ISLAMABAD: The first round of discussion regarding the appointment of a caretaker Prime Minister of Pakistan was held between Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Leader of the Opposition Raja Riaz Ahmed in Islamabad on Thursday, Radio Pakistan reported.

PM Sharif had invited the leader of the opposition for consultation regarding the appointment of the caretaker Prime Minister as per provisions of the Constitution.

During the meeting, the two leaders decided to hold another round of talks on Friday to further ponder upon this matter of national importance, Radio Pakistan reported.

Radio Pakistan is a part of the Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC), the Pakistan Government's broadcast service.

Later talking to the media, Raja Riaz Ahmed said that he shared his list of names for the coveted slot with the Prime Minister and vice versa.

He said the meeting with the Prime Minister was held in a cordial and conducive environment and they, at length, exchanged views over the subject matter. He expressed confidence that the caretaker Prime Minister will be nominated with consensus in consultation with Shehbaz Sharif, Radio Pakistan reported.

The Leader of the Opposition said it has been agreed that both he and the Prime Minister will ponder upon the names forwarded by both of them to each other.

After the meeting, LoP Riaz said, "I will deliberate on the names given by the PM, and similarly, the PM sahib will go through the names given by me … a meeting will be held again tomorrow (Friday),” he said.

While refusing to reveal any of the candidates under consideration for the caretaker PM’s slot, Riaz said six names came under discussion during today’s meeting and all of them were “respectable people”.

“We will hold further deliberations tomorrow (Friday) and hope that things will become pretty clear after that,” he added.

The coalition government’s regime ended on Wednesday after President Alvi dissolved the lower house of the Parliament, three days before the completion of its five-year tenure, the Dawn reported.

The outgoing government has so far failed to name the caretaker prime minister who would lead the interim set-up till general elections, which are likely to be delayed after the notification of the latest census, the Dawn reported.

However, till the appointment of the caretaker prime minister, PM She­hbaz will act as the caretaker prime minister. According to Article 94 of the Constitution, “The president may ask the prime minister to continue to hold office until his successor enters upon the office of prime minister.” The premier and the outgoing opposition leader in the NA have three days to decide the name of the interim prime minister.

In case the two fail to agree on a name, the matter would be referred to a parliamentary committee. If the committee fails to make any decision, then the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will have two days to choose the caretaker prime minister from the list of names shared with the commission, the Dawn reported.

Meanwhile, a Dawn report said the list of candidates for the office of the caretaker prime minister continued to swell, and a new name — Jalil Abbas Jilani — came to the fore. Abbas is said to be on the list of three nominees shared by the PPP with the PM.

PPP leader Faisal Karim Kundi confirmed that his party presented the name of Jalil Abbas Jilani for the office.

Before Jilani emerged as the ‘strong contender’ for the coveted post, former finance minister Dr Hafeez Sheikh was said to be the best bet. Now, political observers believed that the former foreign secretary was the most likely candidate, the Dawn reported.

Other candidates who are in the run for the coveted slot include Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, ex-principal Secretary Fawad Hassan Fawad, ex-chief Justice Tassaduq Jilani, Abdullah Hussain Haroon, Pir Pagaro, and Makhdoom Mehmood Ahmed.

But PML-N leader Rana Sanaullah said on Dawn News show ‘Live with Adil Shahzeb’ today that two other leaders from his party, Ishaq Dar and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, were not being considered for the post, the Dawn reported.

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