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PPP proposes three names for caretaker CM

LAHORE, March 18: The Pakistan People’s Party has proposed three names, including rights activist and former Supreme Court Bar Association president Asma Jehangir, for the slot of Punjab caretaker chief minister.

Former Lahore nazim and owner of a media group Mian Amer Mahmood and former Punjab chief secretary Hafeez Akhtar Randhawa are the other two nominees of the PPP. On Monday, Opposition Leader in Punjab Assembly Raja Riaz wrote a letter to Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, asking him to choose one of the three proposed names.

A source in the PPP engaged in talks with the PML-N leadership over caretaker premier and the Punjab chief minister told Dawn that the PPP had asked the PML-N to choose its nominee for the Punjab caretaker chief minister and in return it would have no objection to its (PML-N) candidate for the interim premier.

“Since Punjab will be the main battlefield in the coming election, the PPP wants a neutral person as caretaker chief minister,” the source said.

Ms Jehangir’s name was earlier discussed as caretaker premier in the political circles. The Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf and some religious parties had opposed her possible nomination.

Mr Mehmood reportedly enjoyed good relations with both the PPP and PML-N leadership.

Earlier, the PPP within the party had finalised the names of Justice Chaudhry Muhammad Arif (retired) and Nawab Salahuddin Abbasi (Nawab of Bahawalpur) for the slot of interim chief minister. After its talks with the PML-Q, other opposition party in Punjab, the PPP then announced that they (PPP and PML-Q) had finalised the names of Hafeez Akhtar Randhawa and former Lahore High Court chief justice Zahid Husain.

Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had nominated Justice (retired) Amer Raza and former federal secretary Khwaja Zaheer as caretaker chief minister.