ISLAMABAD, (SANA): The second meeting of the Parliamentary Committee concluded without reaching a consensus on a name for the caretaker prime minister amid indications that the matter would remain unresolved and would ultimately go to the Election Commission for a final decision.
The committee will meet again today (Friday) at 10:30 am.
Speaking to the media after the meeting, Khursheed Shah said that discussions over the appointment were held in a cordial environment.
He added that objections raised over both the government and opposition’s nominees would be addressed during Friday’s meeting. Khursheed Shah further said that deliberations over the nominees were almost complete. “We will resolve the issue and not let it go the Election Commission,” he said.
Ghulam Ahmed Bilour said that all four nominees had been discussed and the final evaluation would take place on Friday.
According to Farooq Naek, the merits of the nominees were discussed and committee members will pick the best candidate for the country who is capable of conducting transparent elections.
PML-N leader Yaqoob Nasir, who was appointed as chairman of the committee for the second meeting, said that all efforts were being made to appoint a caretaker prime minister.
Speaking to media PML-N leader Pervez Rashid, who is representing his party in the eight-member committee said “there is no stalemate in the committee and tomorrow’s meeting will be decisive when a final decision is taken”.
During Thursday’s meeting the committee discussed the names of Justice (retd) Nasir Aslam Zahid and Dr Ishrat Hussain.
Earlier, on Wednesday during its first meeting, the names of Justice (retd) Mir Hazar Khoso and Rasool Bux Palijo were discussed.
During its first meeting, the committee had agreed that support of at least two-third of its members was mandatory for the decision on a name for caretaker PM.
Politicians, including members of the committee, have dispelled the impression that a consensus on the issue may not occur.
“The completion of a full term by a democratically-elected civilian government for the first time and the legislation done in the Parliament proves that politicians have succeeded, not failed,” Khawaja Saad Rafique, a member of the bi-partisan panel, told the media ahead of the second day of the committee’s proceedings.
He recounted consensus on 18th Amendment and other legislation as indicators that the days of political enmity and victimization are over. On the question of leaving the final decision for the nomination of a caretaker prime minister to the Election Commission, Saad Rafique said if the committee failed to reach consensus then a decision by the ECP would be acceptable to all.
However, Saad Rafique said that members of the committee are trying for appointment of the interim prime minister, adding that there is no room for any new name for the caretaker prime minister. He said that if decision is made by the election commission, adding that even its formation was constituted by the politicians.
Pakistan Peoples Party on the other hand made its opposition to the nomination of Justice (retd) Nasir Aslam Zahid clear. It, however, admitted that it has little choice to oppose the nominee if the Election Commission names the retired judge for the position of caretaker PM.
The Parliamentary Committee has one day left to appoint a caretaker prime minister. If the committee fails to make a decision on Friday the matter will be sent to the Election Commission of Pakistan which will then have two days to appoint a caretaker PM.
Eight-members of the committee including Khurshid Shah, Farooq H Naek, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Ghulam Ahmed Bilour, Sardar Mehtab Abbasi, Pervez Rasheed, Khwaja Saad Rafique and Sardar Yaqub Nasir attended the session.
It is pertinent to mention here that the committee that was formulated by National Assembly speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza was given time till March 22 (Friday) to finalize a name for interim premier.
If a decision is not reached within the allotted time, the matter will be handed over to the Election Commission of Pakistan.