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PML-N leader Shahbaz Sharif. — File Photo
PML-N leader Shahbaz Sharif. — File Photo

LAHORE: Having attained simple majority in the National Assembly after the joining of 17 independent MNAs-elect, the PML-N has started asserting itself and asked the caretaker government on Friday to refrain from taking important decisions like appointment to certain key posts.

The party, which is poised to form government at the centre and at least in Punjab, criticised the caretaker government and described as ‘illegal’ posting of ‘notorious’ persons to offices like chairperson of the National Electric Power Regularity Authority (Nepra) and transfer of some federal secretaries.

“The caretaker prime minister should not make appointments (to certain key posts) at the behest of President Asif Zardari. He is listening to President Zardari but not us,” PML-N leader Shahbaz Sharif said.

He was talking to journalists at Raiwind after a meeting with National People’s Party (NPP) leader Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi on Friday. During the meeting, Mr Jatoi announced merging his NPP into the PML-N.

“The prime minister should respect the people’s mandate. The PM is legally, morally and politically obliged to respect this mandate but he is taking instructions from President Zardari,” Mr Shahbaz said, warning of a stern stance if the caretakers did not change their attitude.

In reply to a question, he said no meeting was scheduled between PML-N leaders and President Zardari. “We are going to Islamabad (on May 22), but only to call on the Chinese prime minister there,” he said.

The Chinese leader is due in Islamabad next week.

Ahsan Iqbal, the PML-N’s deputy secretary general, wonders what is forcing the interim government to take important decisions while the new set-up is going to charge within 10 days.

“It is illegal and outside their mandate to post federal secretaries and replace the Nepra head just days before the caretakers are going to leave the charge.”

“We respect mandate of all parties in different provinces and others should respect our mandate,” Mr Iqbal added.

In reply to a query about allegations of rigging, he complained that government officials were reshuffled in a ‘storm’ of transfers in Punjab while in other provinces nothing was done as President Zardari’s brother-in-law Fazal Pechecho was posted as Sindh additional chief secretary before the polls.

Ghaus Ali Shah, president of the PML-N’s Sindh chapter, said his party had already expressed reservations about caretaker chief minister of Sindh. “That’s the reason rigging was clearly observed during polls in Sindh,” he added.

Comments (8) Closed

sarwat Hasan May 18, 2013 07:09am

Anything you do is legal, regardless how absurd it is. If someone else does it is illegal. Can you return all those PR trains that have melted in your mills for starters.

malik May 18, 2013 07:39am

Good stance by PML.

Khalil May 18, 2013 05:53pm

PML-N This is your chance now to put thing right and stand up for what you beleive is correct. Please dont allow the likes of Zardari to dictate and bully you.. Show to the poeple of Pakistan and rest of the world what you are made of and make decisions for the betterment of PAK! Join hands with PTI and get rid of the ones who are bleeding the country to death. May Allah give you the courage and strength to guide your country to prosperity. ameen.

Jamshed Khan May 18, 2013 08:30am
@ram: What an illogical comment. Caretaker governments are there to oversee transition from one government to the next, and not to make important appointments, which is the job of the elected governments. I am afraid on this occasion, Sharifs are right. Mr Khoso is going beyond his call of duty (on behest of Zardari and co).
Salman Saleem May 18, 2013 12:34pm
Caretaker govt Mir Hazar Khan Khoso should not make important appointments, postings, transfers now. As the elected federal government of PML-N is due to take charge soon. These decisions should be left for coming govt.
Arif Khan May 18, 2013 05:56am
Zardari wont stop his Chizzling although he is a Lame duck President and needs to go back to Dubai and leave us alone, he has done enough damage in 5 yrs , NOW GET LOST
ram May 18, 2013 04:54am
you are nothing before 19th....take oath and then speak
Malick May 18, 2013 02:02am
Shehbaz Sharif is worried for new appointment. He is not worried to hold general Musharraf and trial him under artical 6. Are you a son of real sharif OR bay sharif? If general left country with out trial than you sharf brothers including your siblings up to Maryium are naqli sher or geedar.