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Pakistan

Hafeez Shaikh among candidates shortlisted for caretaker PM: Sanaullah

  • Says caretaker set-up would be announced on Wednesday or Thursday
Published August 7, 2023

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said on Sunday that former finance minister Dr Hafeez Shaikh’s name was among the candidates shortlisted for the post of caretaker prime minister.

He made these remarks during an interview with Geo News programme ‘Naya Pakistan’.

“A consensus has been developed in recent days that a person considered ‘neutral’ should be appointed to the post,” he said.

To a question whether Hafeez Shaikh would take up the responsibility, Sanaullah said, “He surely would be.”

Shaikh’s name was among those earlier reported to have been included in a list of five finalised by parties in the ruling coalition for the caretaker prime minister. The purported list was also said to have included former chief justice of Pakistan Tassaduq Hussain Jillani.

When asked if former prime minister and PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan was also on the list, he said: “I don’t think so. He is a senior member of our party … and I don’t consider him neutral.

“How could a person from a political party be neutral?”

The minister also referred to the commotion following reports of Finance Minister and PML-N leader Ishaq Dar’s name being proposed for the caretaker prime and said “since there has been stress that a “neutral” person should be appointed, the caretaker PM would not be from a political party”.

He also added that the name of the caretaker prime minister was expected to be announced on Wednesday or Thursday.

Sanaullah’s statement comes hours after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced publicly that the National Assembly would be dissolved on August 9.

On August 3, PM Shehbaz held consultations with PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif and former president Asif Ali Zardari on the proposed names for the caretaker prime minister and the caretaker set-up.

During consultations, the leaders agreed to complete the process of appointing the caretaker prime minister according to the Constitution and the law.

Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari also agreed to present all the proposed names before the leaders of allied parties.

The leaders also agreed to deal with the issue of formation of a caretaker set-up as soon as possible.

The coalition parties in the government are likely to hold consultations on the issue again.

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