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KARACHI: Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and Leader of the Opposition in the Sindh Assembly Khawaja Izharul Hasan on Sunday formally came in contact and the former invited the latter to hold talks for naming the caretaker chief minister of the province.

They decided to meet on Monday at the Sindh Assembly building where the last session of the current assembly will also be held before the assembly will automatically stand dissolved at midnight on May 28.

PPP is said to have finalised three and MQM two names for the position

It was agreed that both sides would formally exchange names for the office of the caretaker chief minister. On Saturday night, according to sources, the Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) high command met at Bilawal House where PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari was briefed on the five-year performance of the party’s government in Sindh. The issue of the caretaker chief minister was also discussed at the meeting and names for the post were finalised. However, no announcement about the decision taken at the meeting was made by the party.

Sources closed to the party told Dawn that the PPP leadership had finalised three names for the post of the caretaker chief minister.

One of them is Ghulam Ali Pasha, a former DMG officer who retired after remaining education secretary and member of the Board of Revenue. He belongs to Hyderabad.

The other two names are: Engineer Hamir Soomro, a grandson of Shah­eed Allah Bux Soomro; and Dr Yunous Soomro, a cousin of Hamir Soomro.

The names for the caretaker chief minister which have been in circulation from the opposition parties in the province are former chief secretary of Sindh Fazlur Rehman and Aftab Shaikh from the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, retired Justice Syed Ghaus Ali Shah from the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional and retired Justice Amir Muslim Hani from the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf.

If the chief minister and the opposition leader are not able to reach a consensus on a name for the caretaker chief minister at Monday’s meeting, the matter would be referred to a parliamentary committee comprising nominees of the ruling and opposition parties.

And if the committee fails to choose a name for the caretaker chief minister, the matter will go to the Election Commission of Pakistan which will select a person for the post in accordance with Article 224(1A.)

Published in Dawn, May 28th, 2018