ISLAMABAD, Sept 13: Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan disclosed on Thursday that veteran Baloch nationalist Sardar Ataullah Khan Mengal was among the seven people the PML-N had proposed to other parties for heading the caretaker government.
The PML-N leader, who was talking to reporters outside the Parliament House, did not reveal the other six names and only mentioned their professions. He said two of them were former judges of the Supreme Court, one representative of the lawyers’ community and three politicians.
Although the PML-N itself is not releasing the names officially, insiders in the party and some other opposition partiers told Dawn that besides the 83-year-old Sardar Mengal, the list contained the names of former Supreme Court judges Justice (retd) Nasir Aslam Zahid, Justice (retd) Shakirullah Jan, former Supreme Court Bar Association president Asma Jahangir, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai, former JI Amir Qazi Hussain Ahmed and former chairman of Awami Tehrik Rasool Bakhsh Palejo.
Chaudhry Nisar said he had requested former chief minister of Balochistan Sardar Akhtar Mengal to persuade his ageing father to accept the position of caretaker prime minister.
He said that although he was not under any constitutional obligation, he had consulted other opposition parties, including the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf (PTI), in order to ensure transparent and credible elections.
In response to PTI’s statement that it was not consulted on the issue, Chaudhry Nisar said that Imran Khan’s party had not only rejected the proposed names but suggested the names of Federal Tax Ombudsman Shoaib Suddle and industrialist Abdul Razzak Dawood.
He criticised the PTI and said those who always talked about revolution should not backtrack on its stand.
He said he had sent the list to Munawwar Hassan and Liaquat Baloch of Jamaat-i-Islami, Aftab Sherpao of PPP-S, Hasil Bizenjo of National Party and Salim Saifullah Khan of PML (Like-Minded), asking them to send their suggestions.
He said after getting response from all the parties he would send two names to the government as the opposition’s nominees for the office.
He said the parties were free to add to or remove any name from his list.
Chaudhry Nisar had announced last month that he had shortlisted nine names and the list would be made public after consultations with other parties.
At that time he hinted that the list did not include the name of any retired bureaucrat or a retired military man and said it comprised retired judges, senior lawyers and politicians of good repute.
The 20th constitutional amendment provides for the appointment of a caretaker prime minister by the president in consultation with the prime minister and the leader of opposition.
In the event of the outgoing prime minister and the leader of opposition not agreeing on any one name within three days of the dissolution of the National Assembly, they will forward two names each to a parliamentary committee to be immediately formed by the National Assembly speaker. The committee will need to decide on a name within three days.
If the committee is also unable to agree on a name these names will be referred to the Election Commission which will make the final decision within two days.
Similar procedure is to be followed in the provinces.