Alert Sign Dear reader, online ads enable us to deliver the journalism you value. Please support us by taking a moment to turn off Adblock on

Alert Sign Dear reader, please upgrade to the latest version of IE to have a better reading experience


Leader of the Opposition, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, — File Photo

PPP, PML-N might have agreed on a name: Nisar’s ‘solo flight’ threw spanner in the works

ISLAMABAD, March 20: The PPP and the PML-N might have reached an agreement on caretaker prime minister had the leader of opposition in the now dissolved National Assembly not thrown a spanner in the works.

Dawn has learnt that by holding a press conference on Tuesday evening Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan took a solo flight and nearly caused a crash.

Throughout Wednesday the capital was abuzz with discussions in political circles that the leader of opposition had stopped Senator Ishaq Dar from holding negotiations with senior PPP leader Khurshid Ahmed Shah.

A senior leader of the PML-N said: “Soon after the media started reporting on Tuesday evening about a meeting between Senator Dar and Mr Shah in Islamabad, Chaudhry Nisar made an emergency telephone call to Mr Dar from Lahore and stopped him from meeting PPP leaders.”

If the PML-N leader was to be believed the two exchanged hot words when Chaudhry Nisar reminded Mr Ishaq of his role as leader of the opposition in the selection of caretaker prime minister.

Under the Constitution, it is a prerogative of the leader of the house and that of the opposition to hold formal consultations for the selection of caretaker prime minister.

The PML-N leader said: “Soon after stopping Senator Dar from holding any discussion with the PPP leaders, Chaudhry Nisar held a press conference in Lahore declaring that the matter of selection of caretaker prime minister has now gone to an eight member parliamentary committee because he has formally sent four nominations (from the opposition) to the assembly secretariat.”

Chaudhry Nisar also had doubts about the parliamentary committee being able to evolve within three days consensus on the name of caretaker prime minister and said he believed the matter would eventually be decided by the Election Commission of Pakistan.

Talking to Dawn, Khurshid Shah confirmed his meeting with Senator Dar on Tuesday evening in which the latter had asked him to bring in new names so that the matter could be settled at the level of the prime minister and the leader of opposition.

“Senator Dar told me that his party chief Mian Nawaz Sharif was willing to consider new names of good reputation if the PPP leadership had in mind. I proposed the names of human rights activist I.A. Rehman, Babar Ali of Packages (pvt) Limited, Abdul Hayee Baloch and Mehmood Khan Achakzai. I even asked Senator Dar that the PPP had complete trust in him if he wanted to become caretaker prime minister,” Mr Shah claimed. He said Mr Dar reciprocated and suggested the name of Raza Rabbani.

The PPP leader said Senator Dar had sought some time to discuss the matter with his party leaders. “But when I called him in the evening, Senator Dar told me that his hands were tied as Chaudhry Nisar had already sent the names for the parliamentary committee.”

According to the PML-N leader, when the development was reported to Mr Sharif who was in Dubai on his way to Lahore from London, it was too late to discuss the new names with the PPP because by that time Chaudhry Nisar had announced his decision to go to the committee.

But he said it was on Mr Sharif’s intervention that Chaudhry Nisar had accepted changes in the names for the committee from the PML-N side.

The PML-N leader claimed that initially the names of Khawaja Asif, Zahid Hamid, Ishaq Dar and retired Lt-Gen Ghulam Qadir Baloch had been finalised, but later they were replaced by Senator Pervez Rasheed, Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan, Khawaja Saad Rafiq and Sardar Mohammad Yaqoob Nasir.