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Justice (r) Tariq, who had also served as the chief justice of the Peshawar High Court, retired from the Supreme Court earlier this year.—File Photo

PESHAWAR: Justice (r) Tariq Pervez Khan, a former Supreme Court judge and ex-chief justice of the Peshawar High Court, took oath from Governor Engineer Shaukatullah Khan on Wednesday as the caretaker chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

The 124-member KP assembly was dissolved Tuesday afternoon after Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti sent his summary to Governor Engineer Shaukatullah Khan.

“I am an apolitical person and will stay that way,” said Justice (r) Tariq shortly after taking oath.

“I understand that I have been given a very important responsibility,” said the former judge. “I would strive to ensure that the law and order situation in the province stays stable.”

Justice (r) Tariq, who was nominated the caretaker chief executive of the province on March 15 after the government and opposition developed consensus on his name, will now form his cabinet after assuming his new assignment.

Nomination challenged

Hours before Justice (r) Tariq took oath, his nomination was challenged in the Peshawar High Court.

Senior lawyer Mohibullah Kakakhel moved the petition, arguing that according to Article 207 of the Constitution a Supreme Court judge may not hold government office until two years after his retirement. Justice (r) Tariq retired from the Supreme Court earlier this year.

“A person who has held office as a Judge of the Supreme Court or of a High Court shall not hold any office of profit in the service of Pakistan, not being a judicial or quasi-judicial office or the office of Chief Election Commissioner or of Chairman or member of a law commission or of Chairman or member of the Council of Islamic Ideology, before the expiration of two years after he has ceased to hold that office,” reads Article 207 of the Constitution.

The petitioner argues that the nomination of Justice (r) Tariq as KP caretaker CM would adversely affect the fairness of general elections.