ECP summons session on Thursday over appointment of caretaker CM Punjab

The Chief Election Commissioner has summoned the session at 9:30 AM on Thursday


LAHORE: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has summoned a session on Thursday for appointment of a caretaker chief minister for Punjab after the parliamentary committee that met today (Wednesday) failed to reach a consensus over the proposed candidates.

The Chief Election Commissioner has summoned the session at 9:30 AM on Thursday.

The ECP said that for caretaker CM Punjab, Speaker assembly has forwarded four names and it will announce the name after consultation.

According to the ECP, the government has suggested Justice (retd) Sair Ali and Admiral (retd) M Zakaullah’s name.

The opposition has sent names of Ayaz Amir and Dr Hasan Askari, the ECP added. 

The parliamentary committee met at the Punjab Assembly earlier today to mull over the names of candidates proposed for caretaker provincial chief minister. 

Rana Sanaullah, Malik Ahmed Khan and Khuwaja Imran Nazir represented the Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) in the committee while former opposition leader Mehmood-ur-Rasheed, Sibtain Khan and Shoaib Siddiqui were present from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's (PTI) side.

Speaking to the media after the parliamentary committee meeting, PTI leader and former opposition leader Mehmood-ur-Rasheed said, "We had suggested to drop a name each from our list of proposed candidates. However, PML-N was adamant on appointing Pakistan Navy former chief Admiral Muhamamd Zakaullah to the post."

"But we rejected the name of the former chief of Pakistan Navy as he has no administrative experience and we want someone to overlook the province not a marine exercise," Rasheed said. 

The former opposition leader further said that defence analyst Dr Hassan Askari, who has been suggested for the post by PTI, is "neutral and intelligent. He not only criticises PML-N's policies but PTI's as well."

However, the former opposition leader lamented that owing to PML-N's 'inflexible' attitude the matter will now be decided by the ECP.

"We will forward a summary to ECP and they will nominate a caretaker chief minister within two days," he concluded.

PML-N's Malik Ahmed Khan while speaking to the media after the meeting alleged that the two names proposed by PTI were "not neutral".

"It is important to nominate a neutral person to the post," he added.

"PML-N suggested names of neutral candidates but the matter will now be decided by the ECP," Khan further said.

Rasheed had earlier said his party would propose the names of news analyst Ayaz Amir and defence analyst Dr Hassan Askari for the post of caretaker CM during today's meeting.

On the other hand, PML-N had nominated Pakistan Navy former chief Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah and Justice (retd) Sahir Ali.

Earlier, Punjab government and opposition had agreed to appoint Nasir Mahmood Khosa as the province's caretaker chief minister but later PTI withdrew his nomination after receiving "severe reaction" from party workers.

In the second phase of the negotiations, Shehbaz nominated former Pakistan Navy chief Admiral Muhamamd Zakaullah, former DG Intelligence Bureau Aftab Sultan, Justice (retd) Sahir Ali and former IG Punjab Tariq Saleem Dogar for the post, while Rasheed presented the names of Orya Maqbool Jan, Yaqub Izhar, and Askari.