Caretaker Setup: Political Bigwigs Favour Politician Over Bureaucrat

Caretaker Setup: Political Bigwigs Favour Politician Over Bureaucrat
The largest members of the ruling coalition have decided that the caretaker setup that takes over after the current term of the assembly expires next month will be a political setup unlike the bureaucratic one seen during the 2018 elections.

This was decided in a meeting between Pakistan Mulsim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and former president and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari, suggest party insiders with knowledge of the recent huddle.

The insiders said during discussions between PML-N and PPP leaders, decisions were taken on what kind of a setup would the two like to see once the assemblies complete their tenure on the night between August 12 and 13.

Party insiders say they have reached a consensus on the incoming caretaker setup. The caretaker prime minister, they have agreed, would be a senior politician rather than a bureaucrat.

Constitutionally, a final decision on the caretaker prime minister is the result of discussions between the prime minister and the leader of the opposition. Failure of which, the matter is referred to a parliamentary committee to decide.

Further, Shehbaz and Zardari have agreed to let the assemblies expire per their constitutional term rather than dissolve the assemblies just a few days before the term ends to gain an additional 30 days.

This would mean that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will have just 60 days to announce and conduct the elections and that it must conduct the elections latest by October 12.

Both Shehbaz and Zardari agreed that there should be no delay in elections whatsoever and that they should be held on time.

Zardari also congratulated Shehbaz on playing a critical and successful role in securing the standby arrangement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The PPP co-chairman assured Shehbaz to offer all support in clearing the economic minefields laid by their predecessor, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

Shehbaz noted that they were making all efforts to strengthen the national economy and bring political stability apart from exterminating the politics of hate that had seeped into the nation.

"Those who had wished that Pakistan would default can keep dreaming," said Shehbaz.

The writer is a senior correspondent at The Friday Times with a focus on politics, economy and militancy.