No interim CMs for Punjab, Balochistan hitherto

  • Parliamentary committees to decide interim CMs for both provinces
  • Balochistan CM Bizenjo, Opp leader Ziaratwal fail to agree on caretaker CM as fifth round of talks culminate 

ISLAMABAD: The provincial governments and oppositions have failed to reach a consensus on caretaker Punjab and Balochistan chief ministers, with both provinces handing over the matter to respective parliamentary committees.

Speaking to media outside Punjab Assembly on Sunday, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) member and former opposition leader Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed said two names were finalised for the interim slot in a meeting with party chief Imran Khan. “Since the government and opposition could not reach consensus on a name, the decision will be taken by a parliamentary committee,” he said. “We have nominated Hasan Askari Rizvi and Ayaz Amir for the post of the caretaker chief minister.”

He said the party had nominated himself, Sibtain Rehman and two others to be included in the parliamentary committee.

Meanwhile, the formerly ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) floated the names of Naval Chief Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah, former Intelligence Bureau director general Aftab Sultan, Justice (r) Siar Ali and former IGP Tariq Saleem Dogar for the interim position.

Earlier, the PTI’s about-turns over the nomination for the post of Punjab caretaker chief minister had continued, with Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed naming ex-bureaucrat and anchorperson Orya Maqbool Jan as one of the three nominees for the position and party’s spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry denying his candidacy.

On Friday, Rasheed had announced the names of Orya Maqbool Jan, businessman Yaqoob Izhar and political analyst Professor Hassan Askari as the party’s nominees for the position after holding a meeting with Punjab Assembly speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal. The PTI leader told journalists that the two sides would name a consensus candidate by Sunday.

However, shortly after Rasheed announced the names, PTI Spokesman Fawad Chaudhry shared on twitter “three names” proposed by the party for the provincial caretaker CM, omitting Jan from the list and replacing it with columnist Ayaz Amir. According to the PTI spokesman, an agreement on the name was expected by Saturday evening.

Meanwhile, a meeting for the decision regarding caretaker CM ended without any result on Sunday. The deadlock on Balochistan’s caretaker chief minister slot persisted as the fifth round of talks between government and opposition ended without consensus. Abdul Quddus Bizenjo and Abdul Rahim Khan Ziaratwal met in Quetta to discuss the names from both sides, but no consensus could be reached.

Both agreed to send two names each to the parliamentary committee for the finalisation of caretaker Balochistan CM. According to media reports, a parliamentary committee has been formed which will finalise the caretaker CM after considering all four names.

Despite stalemate over the interim position, Bizenjo earlier termed the meeting “good” “The matter has been significantly resolved,” he assured.

Meanwhile, Ziaratwal said the caretaker chief executive will be appointed keeping foremost the province’s interests. “We want to ensure that the name proposed for interim CM is free of reservations.”

On May 31, Bizenjo had asserted that the name for the interim slot will be finalised by June 3. “We are optimistic that the provincial government and opposition will announce a unanimous name on June 3 or we will send the matter to the parliamentary committee and Election Commission,” Bizenjo had told reporters after the assembly session.