Senator Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, a distinguished lawmaker from Balochistan, has been officially designated as the caretaker prime minister, as per the announcement from the Prime Minister’s Office.
The final call was made after concluding the second round of consultations between current Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, and the Opposition Leader in the National Assembly, Raja Riaz. Subsequently, a summary highlighting this decision was promptly dispatched to President Arif Alvi.
While addressing the media post-meeting, Raja Riaz underlined, “It was a collective decision that the interim Prime Minister would represent a smaller province.”
Constitutional Obligations & The Selection Process
The latest development materialized following a direct communication from President Dr. Arif Alvi to PM Shehbaz, emphasizing the importance of suggesting a viable candidate for the interim prime ministerial role by August 12.
In his formal correspondence to the prime minister and Raja Riaz, the president highlighted the constitutional stipulation of Article 224A. This mandates the proposal of an interim prime minister’s name within a three-day window post the dissolution of the National Assembly.
Pakistan’s Constitution further outlines that in scenarios where the PM and the NA Opposition Leader can’t reach a consensus within the defined timeframe, the responsibility shifts to a parliamentary committee. This committee then has a restricted span of three days to finalize the name. However, if a deadlock persists, the Election Commission of Pakistan decides on the caretaker PM, chosen from the candidates suggested by both the government and the opposition.
PM Shehbaz, when interacting with journalists in Islamabad, assured that all coalition partners would be part of the decision-making process.
Reactions & Speculations in the Political Arena
Regarding the recent discussions regarding the interim prime minister, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Ahsan Iqbal emphasized the importance of a consensus-driven decision, acknowledging the intricacies of the consultation process.
Refuting claims that the PML-N chief, Nawaz Sharif, had expressed any specific preferences for the role, Iqbal clarified that the party’s core focus was the national interest. This meant prioritizing continuing PM Shehbaz’s economic policy to ensure stability.
Responding to the rumour mill, which indicated potential names like Ishaq Dar and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi for the position, Iqbal asserted that no official nominations had emerged from PML-N. He was adamant that the selected caretaker prime minister would independently determine their cabinet.