ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has finalised its candidates for the offices of caretaker prime minister and chief ministers in three provinces. Most of the nominees have served on key positions during the regime of military dictator Gen Pervez Musharraf.
Interestingly, the party has not yet finalised the names for caretaker chief minister of the party-ruled Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province and has decided to await nominations from the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F).
Sources in the party told Dawn that the names were finalised at a meeting of the senior party leaders held at the Banigala residence of PTI chairman Imran Khan last week.
The sources said the party had decided to nominate former chief justice of Pakistan Tassaduq Hussain Jilani, businessman Abdur Razzaq Dawood and economist Dr Ishrat Husain for the position of caretaker prime minister.
Opposition leader Khursheed Shah expresses displeasure over leaking of names to media
The party, according to the sources, had decided to nominate economist Shahid Kardar, former bureaucrat Tariq Khosa and another economist Dr Salman Shah for the office of the caretaker chief minister of Punjab. However, they said, the party might make some changes in the panel of its nominees for the office of Punjab chief minister.
Since the PTI holds the office of the opposition leader in the Punjab Assembly, it will have a direct role in the nomination of the caretaker chief minister in the province. Under the Constitution, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif is bound to hold consultations with opposition leader Mehmoodur Rashid.
However, since the PTI had no role in the appointment of the caretaker set-ups in Sindh and Balochistan, the sources said, it had nominated one person each from the two provinces only symbolically.
For Sindh, the PTI has decided to nominate renowned philanthropist and founder of the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation Dr Adibul Hassan Rizvi whereas the name of diplomat Ashraf Jahangir Qazi has been finalised for Balochistan caretaker chief minister.
Meanwhile, when contacted, Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah criticised the PTI for leaking the names to media, terming it a “non-serious attitude” of the party.
He said that the names should have been kept secret and the PTI should have given these names to him so that he could properly handle the matter. Mr Shah said that he had consulted PTI’s vice chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi on the issue soon after his meeting with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and even talked to the media in the presence of Mr Qureshi.
The opposition leader said he did not feel necessary now to hold further consultations with the PTI since it had already leaked the names of its nominees to media.
Talking to reporters after the party meeting, PTI’s Information Secretary Fawad Chaudhry had said that they had finalised the names for the caretaker prime minister and chief ministers, but refused to divulge the names saying that these names would be conveyed to Opposition Leader Syed Khursheed Shah by Shah Mehmood Qureshi.
Similarly, he had stated that Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly Mehmoodur Rashid would present the nominees for caretaker set-up in Punjab to Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif after consultation with other opposition parties in the province.
Retired Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jilani became the chief justice of Pakistan in December 2013 after the retirement of Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry. He, however, served as the chief justice only for eight months.
Dr Ishrat Husain was appointed governor of the State Bank of Pakistan by Gen Musharraf soon after toppling the elected government of Nawaz Sharif in 1999 and held the position till 2006.
Industrialist Abdul Razzaq Dawood served as minister for commerce in the first cabinet of Gen Musharraf before the general elections in 2002.
Shahid Kardar also served as the SBP governor during the previous government of the Pakistan Peoples Party.
Dr Salman Shah also served as adviser on finance to prime minister Shaukat Aziz.
Tariq Khosa is a bureaucrat and held many key positions, including director general of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and deputy inspector general of police in many divisions.
The term of the present government is expiring on May 31, after which the caretaker set-up will be put in place to hold elections, which are expected to be held in July.
Published in Dawn, April 17th, 2018