ISLAMABAD, Sept 17: The main opposition Pakistan Muslim League-N has closed its door on the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf and decided to hold consultations on the future caretaker set-up with Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (Fazl).

Leader of Opposition in National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan told reporters in his Parliament House chamber on Monday that he had also sent the list of PML-N’s nominees for the office of caretaker prime minister to the JUI-F for consultation.

The JUI-F is the second largest opposition group in parliament after the PML-N but the two parties have been poles apart almost on all national issues and have so far failed to take a united stand on any of them.

The rivalry between the two parties reached its peak when former Senate chairman Farooq Naek appointed Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri as the leader of opposition despite PML-N’s claim that its parliamentary leader Ishaq Dar enjoyed the support of the majority of opposition senators. The two parties have always walked out separately from parliament even on common issues.

Perhaps after refusal by two of its nominees from Balochistan to accept the post of caretaker prime minister, Chaudhry Nisar declared that the list he had proposed was not final and could be altered as a result of consultation with other parties.

But he made it clear that his party would not engage the PTI now on the issue and termed its leaders as habitual liars.

Chaudhry Nisar said his party was ready to hold consultation with the PTI again, but on the condition that its chief Imran Khan should first apologise for having wrongly denied that contacts between the two parties had taken place.

He advised the PTI to better hold consultations with the ruling Pakistan People’s Party on the issue of caretaker set-up.

The PML-N had earlier claimed that the PTI had rejected all its proposed names and had suggested the names of Federal Tax Ombudsman Shoaib Suddle and industrialist Abdul Razzak Dawood for the post of caretaker prime minister. Bit the PTI denied that it had been consulted as claimed by Chaudhry Nisar.

The PML-N leader said his party had held consultations with Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi of the National People’s Party and leaders of the PML (Likeminded) and both had suggested more names for the caretaker set-up.

Chaudhry Nisar said the PML-N was holding talks with the Balochistan National Party (Mengal) and other Baloch nationalist parties about the coming elections. He said Sindh PML-N chief Syed Ghous Ali Shah would be holding talks with PML-F chief Pir Pagara.

He said he had had held detailed discussions with Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai, one of his party’s nominees for caretaker prime minister, on Monday and exchanged views on the possibility of an electoral alliance and the issue of caretaker set-up. It was the second meeting between leaders of the two parties in a week.

In the previous meeting which was also attended by PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, according to sources, Mehmood Achakzai declined to accept the proposal to head the caretaker government.

Earlier, veteran Baloch nationalist leader Sardar Ataullah Mengal had also turned down the nomination.

According to the sources, the PML-N’s list contained the names of Justice (retd) Nasir Aslam Zahid, Justice (retd) Shakirullah Jan, Asma Jahangir, Qazi Hussain Ahmed and Rasool Bakhsh Palejo.

OIL PRICES: Chaudhry Nisar condemned the latest increase in oil prices and announced that his party would table a resolution in the National Assembly seeking their reduction. He said the resolution would be a test case for coalition partners PML-Q, MQM and the ANP.

DR KHAN: Expressing his surprise over a controversial interview of scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, the PML-N leader said such statements about nuclear proliferation could cause irreparable damage to the country.

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