Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Wednesday wrote to Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, asking him to forward three nominations of his choice to evolve consensus over the appointment of caretaker prime minister.
The letter has set off the consultation process between the prime minister and opposition leader under the 18th constitutional amendment.
In case of failure in achieving consensus, the matter would be handed over to a parliamentary committee comprising equal number of lawmakers from both sides of the political divide. However, if the committee too fails to evolve consensus, the matter would be sent to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) which would nominate the caretaker PM.
“As you know, the National Assembly will be achieving the milestone of completing its tenure by the middle of next month. It will be a historic achievement signifying the maturity and sagacity of the political parties in the country. This singular achievement will go a long way in strengthening democracy and establishing supremacy of the will of the people of Pakistan,” said Ashraf in his letter.
He said that all political parties, within and outside the parliament, and national institutions deserved special compliment and praise for their continued support to the democratic process during the last five years. The country was now poised for general elections with the likely dissolution of the National Assembly on the expiry of its term, he added.
“It is imperative that we initiate the process under Article 224 of the Constitution to arrive at a consensus on the appointment of care taker prime minister, who could uphold the national interest and ensure free, fair and transparent elections in the country,” he added.
The PM said that the people of Pakistan rightly expected the treasury and opposition to rise to the occasion and agree upon the most “suitable person” as caretaker prime minister and pave the way for holding general elections in an impartial, fair and transparent manner. “Let us enable the people of Pakistan to express their will in an exemplary environment and ensure smooth transition of power to the next elected government,” the prime minister said.
“I would be grateful if you could forward your nominations at the earliest so that we may arrive at a consensus on the caretaker prime minister, prior to the dissolution of the National Assembly on the expiry of its term otherwise we will be constrained to proceed further in the matter as per Article 224 (A) of the constitution,” he concluded.