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It has been widely speculated that the incumbent government is mulling ‘reforming’ the Elections Act 2017 with a view to empowering the caretaker setup to take important decisions like an elected government.

Moreover, the IMF requires the country, among other things, to strive towards attaining the benchmarks that the Fund has identified prior to the release of $1.2 billion tranche of $3 billion Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) without showing any complacency.

That is why perhaps the government is trying harder to have its own man as the caretaker prime minister to act as quasi elected prime minister ahead of the general election in the country.

And, finance minister Ishaq Dar appears to be the best man for this job, according to the PML-N perspective. However, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), a major coalition partner, has not acquiesced to the PML-N move. According to it, no names have been received or endorsed by the party for the caretaker setup so far.

Given the absence of any ‘legitimate’ or ‘potent’ Opposition, the PML-N stands a chance to achieve its goal, although Leader of Opposition in National Assembly has “rejected” Dar for premiership. However, PML-N will be required to successfully persuade the PPP.

But there has to be give and take on both sides. Needless to say, every successful negotiation involves some give-and-take. Both the parties have learnt enough how to give and take from their own failures and successes. By floating the name of Ishaq Dar for the office of caretaker prime minister the PML-N has initiated a process of compromise.

Ahmed Raza (Lahore)

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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