PML-N wins over allies to grant more powers to caretaker govt

Interim government to only engage with bilateral donors and multilateral institutions, say sources

By
Asif Bashir Chaudhary
A view of the National Assembly session underway with Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf in the chair, on April 10, 2023. — Twitter/NAofPakistan
A view of the National Assembly session underway with Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf in the chair, on April 10, 2023. — Twitter/NAofPakistan

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) successfully persuaded its allies in the Centre to approve a bill granting additional powers to the caretaker government, sources told Geo News.

The development came during a Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms meeting, with PML-N's Sardar Ayaz Sadiq in the chair, where Article 230 — which relates to the functions of a caretaker government — came under discussion.

The sources told Geo News that under the proposed bill, the caretaker government was given unbridled powers, which the allied parties opposed and the matter was deferred.

After the discussion today, the PML-N agreed to make minor changes in the bill that would allow the interim government to only engage with bilateral donors and multilateral institutions.

Under the new changes, the caretaker regime is given the powers under clause 2A of Section 230, sources said, noting that the setup will not have powers to enter into new agreements.

The sources added that the caretaker setup "can use its powers in ongoing programmes".

The bill has now been presented in the joint session of parliament for approval.

Before the electoral reforms bill was laid in the house, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Senator Ali Zafar reiterated his demand that the house reject the said clause as it was unsustainable.

"If you do not reject it, then the Supreme Court will reject it," PTI's Zafar told the parliament.

The PTI leader said the "dilution" made to the bill was not enough as it was “unconstitutional and illegal”.