Pakistan’s newly elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif speaks to the media in Lahore, on May 14, 2013. — Photo by AFP
LAHORE: After much deliberation within his party ranks, prime minister-elect Nawaz Sharif has finalised names for the incoming cabinet and candidates for the posts of president, NA speaker and deputy speaker, sources told DawnNews on Thursday night.
According to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) sources, veteran politician Sartaj Aziz has emerged as a strong presidential candidate.
President Asif Ali Zardari’s term in office is due to end this September.
For the post of speaker National Assembly, Mehmood Khan Achakzai and Riaz Pirzada are under consideration while Sumaira Malik and Tariq Fazal Chaudhry have emerged as front runners for the post of deputy speaker.
The federal cabinet is expected to sworn-in in two phases. General (retd) Qadir Baloch is being named for the post of interior minister while Raja Zafarul Haq is potential leader of the house in Senate.
Likely candidates for the incoming federal cabinet include Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Chaudhry Jaafar Iqbal, Ahsan Iqbal, Khwaja Muhammad Asif, Ishaq Dar, Khurram Dastagir, Rana Tanvir, Abid Sher Ali, Abdul Ghafar Dogar, Mohsin Ranjha and Hafiz Abdul Karim.
Moreover, Syed Ghous Ali Shah and Ameer Muqam are likely advisors to the PM-in-waiting.
Meanwhile, speaking to DawnNews, former leader of the opposition in the NA Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said he has not taken a final decision regarding accepting any portfolio.
However, he made it clear that he would not like to take charge of petroleum ministry. “I will not come to a decision regarding any portfolio in haste,” said Chaudhry Nisar.