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KARACHI: As the Pakistan Peoples Party-led provincial government is set to complete its five-year term on May 28, consultations between Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and Leader of the Opposition in the Sindh Assembly Khwaja Izharul Hasan to finalise a consensus name for the caretaker CM have entered a forward phase and an announcement in this regard is likely to be made by Wednesday, it emerged on Sunday.

Sources said so far two meetings between the CM and the opposition leader had been held in which they initially discussed names for the caretaker CM and also the names of provincial ministers to be inducted in the caretaker set-up.

During the first meeting, no consensus was reached between the two sides. However, in the follow-up meeting the names which were submitted by Mr Shah also had approval from the PPP high command.

The sources said that after the second meeting between the chief minister and the leader of the opposition, a consultative meeting was also held with PPP leader Faryal Talpur, who is also sister of former president Asif Ali Zardari, as she reportedly looked after party affairs in the province.

PPP proposes names of an architect, a surgeon and a retired judge of high court for caretaker CM

They said the CM, the opposition leader and Ms Talpur discussed names of ministers and their departments to be shared with the opposition-nominated candidates in the caretaker set-up and forwarded the same with the name of the caretaker CM to authorities concerned for clearance.

According to Article 224-1A of the Constitution, “on dissolution of the assembly on completion of its term, or in case it is dissolved under Article 58 or Article 112, the President or the Governor, as the case may be, shall appoint a caretaker cabinet:

“Provided that the caretaker prime minister shall be selected by the president in consultation with the prime minister and leader of opposition in outgoing assembly, and a caretaker chief minister shall be appointed by the governor in consultation with the chief minister and leader of opposition in the outgoing provincial assembly:

“Provided further that the members of the federal and provincial caretaker cabinet shall be appointed on the advice of the caretaker prime minister or caretaker chief minister, as the case may be.”

Three proposed for caretaker CM

The three names, proposed by Chief Minister Shah to the Opposition Leader Khwaja Izhar for the top slot of the caretaker provincial chief executive, are: Hamir Soomro; retired Justice Ghulam Sarwar Korai and Dr Younis Soomro.

Hamir Soomro is an architect and head of the Indus Valley School. He belongs to Shikarpur district. His grandfather, Allah Bux Soomro, was the CM of Sindh before partition and his father also remained a provincial minister for many times.

Mr Korai is a retired judge of the Sindh High Court.

Dr Younis Soomro, also a cousin of Hamir Soomro, is a known orthopaedic surgeon and has worked in the Civil Hospital Karachi. During the last caretaker set-up, he was the federal health minister. He originally hailed from Shikarpur.

The sources said that the names from opposition sides were also shared with the ruling party, but finally consensus was reached on the three names and, after clearance from the powers that be, one of them would be named caretaker CM.

Published in Dawn, May 21st, 2018