PESHAWAR: As the consensus on the names of caretaker chief ministers still eludes Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Balochistan, the governments and the opposition in the three provinces have now entered the next rounds of the procedure for selecting the caretaker chief executives.

While KP has put the ball in the court of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for selecting a caretaker chief minister for it, a six-member parliamentary party has been constituted in Punjab for the purpose and the parliamentary committee in Balochistan will hold its first meeting on the issue on Tuesday.

In KP, provincial assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser has asked the ECP to appoint the caretaker chief minister from among the four nominees given by the opposition and treasury sides within two days.

Mr Qaiser on Monday wrote to Chief Election Commissioner retired Justice Sardar Raza Muhammad Khan to choose a caretaker chief minister for the province after the six-member parliamentary committee comprising opposition and treasury members failed to forge a consensus on a nominee.

The speaker said that the committee had expressed its inability to finalise a name from the referred nominees for the post of the caretaker chief minister.

KP puts ball in ECP’s court; Punjab and Balochistan pin their hopes on parliamentary committees

The letter said that in accordance with Clause 3 of Article 244A of the Constitution, the names of nominees were being sent to the ECP for a final decision within two days.

According to it, Himayatullah Khan and Ejaz Ahmed Qureshi are the nominees of the KP chief minister while Manzoor Afridi and retired Justice Dost Mohammad Khan are of the opposition leader.

Parliamentary party in Punjab

The Punjab Assembly speaker has constituted a six-member parliamentary party for the appointment of a caretaker chief minister. The committee is supposed to finalise a name within three days.

The committee comprises three members each nominated by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the PTI — Rana Sanaullah, Khawaja Imran Nazir, Malik Muhammad Ahmad Khan, Mian Mahmoodur Rasheed, Sibtain Khan and Shoaib Siddiqui.

The two parties have presented their nominees for the caretaker chief minister. The PTI has given the names of Dr Hasan Askari Rizvi and Ayaz Amir, and the PML-N retired Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah and retired Justice Sair Ali.

A news release issued by the Punjab Assembly secretariat says that the speaker has convened a meeting of the parliamentary committee at Committee Room-A at 12.30pm on Wednesday (tomorrow).

Meeting in Quetta today

The first meeting of the parliamentary committee comprising three members each from the government and the opposition in Balochistan will be held on Tuesday to take a decision about the caretaker chief minister of Balochistan.

The two sides announced their members for the parliamentary committee on Monday after six rounds of talks between the chief minister and the opposition leader failed to choose a person for the caretaker chief minister post.

Tahir Mehmood, Sarfaraz Domki and Amanullah Notezai will represent the government side while former chief ministers Dr Malik Baloch, Nawab Sanaullah Zehri and Agha Liaquat will represent the opposition side in the meeting.

The names of the government and opposition members have been sent to the Balochistan Assembly speaker who will issue an official notification about formation of the parliamentary committee.

Sources said that both sides had shortlisted their nominees for the caretaker chief minister. The government side has dropped the names of Prince Ahmed Ali Ahmedzai, Advocate Kamran Murtaza and former senator Hussain Bakhsh Bangulzai and included the names of Sardar Shoakat Aziz Popalzai, president of the Balochistan Economic Forum, and Aladdin Marri.

The opposition also dropped the name of Advocate Ali Ahmed Kurd and gave two names — former speaker Muhammad Aslam Bhootani and Ashraf Jahangir Qazi.

Published in Dawn, June 5th, 2018