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Friday Jun 01 2018

Provinces, except Sindh, fail to appoint caretaker CM


The caretaker prime minister of the country is expected to be sworn in today but provinces, with the exception of Sindh, have yet to make a decision on the interim chief minister.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the matter to appoint a chief minister will be decided by a parliamentary committee.

As per sources in the KP Assembly, the opposition suggested on Friday three names for the committee, including those of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl’s Mufti Fazal Ghafoor, Noor Saleem Khan and Mehmood Betani. Sources added that no suggestions were sent by government till this report was filed.

The matter has been left for the parliamentary committee to decide as former chief minister Pervez Khattak and opposition leader Lutfur Rehman could not reach a consensus on the appointment of a caretaker chief minister despite several meetings.

Sources said Khattak and Rehman, along with former speaker Asad Qaiser and Shaukat Yousafzai, met Thursday night to discuss four names for the position.

The government proposed names of former chief secretary Ejaz Ahmed Qureshi and Himayatullah Khan while the opposition insisted on appointing either Manzoor Afridi or Justice (retd) Dost Mohammad Khan.

If the parliamentary committee fails to do so, the matter would be sent to the Election Commission of Pakistan, which will announce a caretaker chief minister for the province.

In Balochistan, a deadlock persisted between the government and opposition even after four meetings over the name of a caretaker chief minister for the province.

According to sources, former chief minister of Balochistan, Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo, and opposition leader Abdul Raheem Ziaratwal met for the fourth time late Thursday night but could not reach a consensus on the matter. The government suggested former environment minister Prince Ahmed Ali, Alaudin Marri and former speaker Aslam Bhutani, while the opposition put forward two names.

The Balochistan government has three days to appoint a caretaker chief minister, if they fail to do so the matter would be forwarded to the parliamentary committee that will then decide a name.

In Punjab, the opposition proposed defence analyst Dr Hassan Askari and former IGP of KP, Nasir Khan Durrani. However, the latter withdrew his candidature citing poor health as the reason.

However, in Sindh, the outgoing government and opposition have named Fazlur Rehman as the caretaker chief minister of the province.

Sources said outgoing chief minister Murad Ali Shah and opposition leader Khawaja Izharul Hassan agreed upon Rehman's name as the caretaker CM following a meeting that lasted for more than two and a half hour.

Rehman served as Sindh chief secretary from 2007 to 2010, after which he was retired from service.

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