PML-N starts efforts to take all stakeholders on board; PPP to nominate own candidate
• Govt plans amendment to expand mandate of caretakers beyond ‘day-to-day’ affairs
LAHORE/ISLAMABAD: As PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif intends to see party stalwart and confidant Ishaq Dar as the interim prime minister, the PPP has expressed strong reservations saying a “man from the Sharif family” is not suitable to lead the ‘neutral’ setup.
However, PML-N started efforts on Sunday to take all stakeholders on board, including the military establishment and assuage the concerns of the PPP leadership.
Both PPP and PML-N want to see a politician steer the caretaker government to avert any move to delay polls. The ruling party is likely to make an official announcement after convincing the allies.
However, PPP expressed strong reservations as Mr Dar was “a man from the Sharif family” and not fit for the slot which demanded a neutral person. It insisted that the caretaker premier should be a politician nonetheless.
PPP leader Sherry Rehman said PML-N has not proposed anyone for the post. “No name for caretaker premier has been conveyed to us so far.”
PM’s adviser and PPP leader Qamar Zaman Kaira said his party wanted the caretaker premier to be a politician, but there should be consensus among all political players.
“Discussions on the caretaker setup are going on among the parties. Both Mr Zardari and Mr Bilawal are in Dubai,” Farhatullah Babar of PPP said.
Mr Kundi said PML-N has not shared the name of any candidate with the PPP. He said the party will present its nominee to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
“Both, the PM and the leader of the opposition will have to present three names each. Of which one will be chosen for the caretaker prime minister,” he added.
Speaking about the potential huddle in Dubai, he said no meeting was held between PPP and PML-N leaders in Dubai on Sunday.
After 18th Amendment, the caretaker setups which oversaw two general elections in the recent past were led by non-partisan prime ministers. Though the election rules call for a neutral setup to oversee elections, there is no explicit clause in the Constitution about it.
However, if the caretaker government is led by any party loyalist, e.g. Ishaq Dar, then it would undermine the credibility of polls.