Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) Senator Anwaarul Haq Kakar, who has been named as the eighth caretaker prime minister of Pakistan, announced on Sunday that he would be resigning as a member of the upper house of Parliament as well as his party.

“Owing to the fundamental responsibility conferred upon me as the caretaker prime minister, I have decided to surrender my membership of the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) and relinquish my Senate position.

“Prayers requested from everyone,” the soon-to-be interim PM said on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The announcement comes a day after the much-anticipated announcement of Kakar’s selection for the interim PM’s slot, following two rounds of talks between outgoing Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Opposi­tion Leader Raja Riaz and several days of speculation about the probable choice for the post.

Following his selection, a source in the Presidency told Dawn that Kakar would take oath as the caretaker PM in a day or two

The initial positive reactions over Kakar’s surprise nomination demonstrated how he was acceptable to most political parties, especially those part of the ruling coalition headed by PM Shehbaz.

However, soon after Kakar’s appointment, PPP leader Syed Khursheed Shah, said his party — which was an important ally in the ruling coalition led by Pm Shehbaz — had proposed three names and they were better options.

Later, Shazia Marri and Faisal Karim Kundi from the PPP dispelled the impression created after Shah’s statement that the party had reservations over Kakar’s selection.

Earlier today, Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M) chief Sardar Akhtar Mengal conveyed to PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, who is said to have been closely involved in the selection of the caretaker PM, that Kakar’s appointment had “widened the distance” between allied parties PML-N and BNP-M.

In his letter, Mengal expressed reservations over the coalition government’s decision to choose Kakar — without naming him — as the interim premier without consultations with allied parties. He also mentioned legislating for “in the dark” and expressed disappointment in the party’s actions, stating that he had hoped for greater empathy after past experiences.

Some political observers have also expressed reservations over Kakar’s purported closeness to the establishment. Kakar was one of the founding members of the BAP, which is thought to have the backing of the country’s establishment.

PM Shehbaz congratulates Kakar

Earlier today, PM Shehbaz congratulated Kakar on his appointment as the interim premier and expressed confidence that he would ensure free, fair and impartial elections — which are most likely to be delayed following the approval of the 2023 digital census as a fresh delimitation, which may take months, has now become compulsory.

A statement issued by the PM’s Office today quoted the outgoing premier as saying that the “trust reposed by all parties in Kakar’s name proves their proper choice as the upcoming caretaker PM is an educated person and a patriot”.

He said that “under a constitutional process, they agreed upon the name of a suitable person” for the interim PM’s slot and thanked the now-former opposition leader in the National Assembly, Raja Riaz, for holding consultations with him for the selection.

PM Shehzab said his government had struggled to bring economic stability in the country during its 16-month tenure and hoped that the “continuity of [this] process will be maintained”.

“Ensuring progress, prosperity and economic stability is critical for the progress and development of the nation,” the PMO statement quoted him as saying.

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