ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Thursday called for forming a truth commission in consensus with all mainstream political parties to unveil hidden facts about all major incidents that took place in the country since 1947.

“All political parties should decide that what had happened in the country should come before the people. This will also help avoid repetition of blunders committed in the past,” Mr Abbasi said while answering a question during a press conference at the Prime Minister Office whether he would order any inquiry into recent revelation made by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif that he was forced to leave his office.

The prime minister said he was in favour of formation of the truth commission in consensus with all political parties. He said bringing facts before the nation would not take days but a long time for which the process of dialogue should be started as soon as possible. “The dialogue process on important issues should be a part of election campaigns of all political parties.”

Mr Abbasi was of the opinion that what had happened in the country must be documented so that people could be aware of the facts.

Says no consensus reached on name for caretaker prime minister

Responding to a question about coming general elections to be held in the last week of July, he said the ruling Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) would not boycott the polls. Asked why the ruling party leaders in flocks were joining the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, he said those who were leaving the PML-N had no concerns with Nawaz Sharif’s narrative “why he was removed”. “I know them very well; none of them has left on the basis of ideology but for their personal interests,” he added.

In reply to a question about the caretaker prime minister, Mr Abbasi agreed that he and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah had not reached a consensus on any name proposed by the two sides for the slot. He said he and Mr Shah had proposed three names each, but no agreement had been reached on any of them. The prime minister said they would meet again on Monday and put forth new names for consideration for the slot of caretaker prime minister.

“If we do not reach consensus on any name, the matter will be referred to a parliamentary committee to be formed by National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, and in case the committee fails to decide any name, the Election Commission of Pakistan will choose any of the probables proposed by the two sides,” he explained.

The prime minister said that in case of non-agreement between him and the opposition leader, they would send two names each to the parliamentary committee.

The five-year term of the government comes to an end on May 31.

Khursheed Shah had on Wednesday indicated that the issue of caretaker prime minister would be referred to the parliamentary committee because he and the prime minister had failed to reach a consensus on any name.

Published in Dawn, May 25th, 2018