Punjab caretaker CM: Who are PML-N's nominees?

SAPM Ahad Cheema and media owner Mohsin Naqvi have been nominated by PML-N's Hamza Shehbaz

By
Sher Ali Khalti
Syed Mohsin Raza Naqvi (left) and Ahad Raza Cheema. — Facebook/Twitter/@MohsinnaqviC42
Syed Mohsin Raza Naqvi (left) and Ahad Raza Cheema. — Facebook/Twitter/@MohsinnaqviC42

Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly Hamza Shehbaz has recommended the names of Syed Mohsin Raza Naqvi and Ahad Raza Cheema for appointment as the caretaker chief minister of the province.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) nominated Mohsin Naqvi and Ahad Cheema after the dissolution of the provincial legislature last week while Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) proposed the names of Naseer Ahmad Khan, Ahmad Nawaz Sukhera and Nasir Mahmood Khosa.

Profiles of PML-N's nominees:

Mohsin Raza Naqvi

Lahore-born Mohsin Raza Naqvi is a journalist by profession. He got his higher education in the USA and was associated with the American TV channel CNN during his stay in Miami. After returning to Pakistan, he served as the regional head of CNN.

According to a report, Benazir Bhutto, who Mohsin had interviewed before, last contacted him before her assassination.

Mohsin founded the local media City News Network in 2009 at the age of 30 and now owns six news channels and a newspaper. He is also widely known in political circles and has strong relations with leading political figures.

Ahad Raza Cheema

PML-N's second nominee for the top slot is former bureaucrat Ahad Raza Cheema. 

Cheema, known as the best administrator in the Shehbaz Sharif chief ministership, is also called the 'Metro Man' among his close friends and political circles.

Cheema was a PAS (Pakistan Administrative Service) grade 20 officer and served as the chief executive officer of QATPC, owned by the Government of Punjab. 

In 2005, the then chief minister Parvez Elahi selected him to oversee his marquee project ‘Parha Likha Punjab’.

Ahad Raza supervised the project in collaboration with the World Bank. The Punjab civil servants attribute the project’s success to Ahad’s management skills and hard work. Cheema remained in NAB custody during Imran Khan's tenure, however, he was acquitted of the charge later.

PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif has also approved the nominations made by Hamza.

Disagreement on nominees

The selection of the caretaker chief minister will now be made by a house body after CM Punjab Parvez Elahi and Hamza Shehbaz failed to reach a consensus on the nominees.

Punjab Governor Baligh Ur Rehman Tuesday directed Speaker Sibtain Khan to constitute a parliamentary committee for the purpose.

The committee will deliberate on the names proposed by both leaders and try to reach an accord within three days. If the committee also fails to reach a consensus, then the decision would be made by the Election Commission.