Pakistan PM invites opposition for talks on caretaker setup

Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf Thursday invited the opposition for talks on the nomination of a consensus person to lead the caretaker setup during the polls.


The assemblies will be dissolved March 16 on the completion of five-year term. Fresh elections will be held in two months' time since the day of the dissolution of the assemblies. A caretaker government will hold the elections, reported Xinhua.

The prime minister proposed three names for the caretaker prime minister and invited the opposition for dialogue to reach consensus on one name, the Prime Minister's office said.

The three names Raja Pervez Asharf suggested were former finance minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, former governor of State Bank of Pakistan Ishrat Hussain, and former Supreme Court judge Justice (Retd) Mir Hazar Khan Khoso, the PM office said in a statement.

"The above are persons of known standing, integrity and competence," the prime minister said in a letter to the opposition leader in the National Assembly, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.

The opposition has already sent its three names to the prime minister. These include two former Supreme Court judges and a senior political leader from southern Sindh province.

"We can discuss and deliberate on the names put forward both by the government and the opposition at a mutually convenient time so that we can agree on a suitable person in line with the constitutional obligations," Raja Pervez Asharf said.

He hoped for an early response from the opposition to put a closure to the issue and move forward to set the stage for holding general elections in the country.

He said he has held in-depth consultations with his allies as well as within the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party in keeping with the same spirit on the proposed names.

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