Caretaker PM Shortlist Down To Five Individuals: Asif

Caretaker PM Shortlist Down To Five Individuals: Asif
Federal Defence Minister Khawaja Asif has said that the major ruling coalition parties, the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), have determined that a politician will be chosen to for the coveted position of caretaker (PM) prime minister and have shortlisted five candidates for it, The News reported.

With names of some sitting cabinet members rumoured to be among the names, the federal minister clarified that he will not be given the position.

He announced that a name would be chosen within a week. "The PPP and the PML-N, together have finalized four to five names, which will be discussed with other parties [in the rainbow coalition that forms the incumbent government]."

The defense minister said the leadership of the aligned parties will ultimately decide on the final list of government candidates and this list will then be presented to Leader of the Opposition Raja Riaz Ahmad.

"In my opinion, elections should be held in 90 days, and this too suits us."

He also made it clear that he had never expressed a desire to act as caretaker prime minister nor did he propose Ishaq Dar's name in that regard.

The minister said that Dar never expressed such intentions at any forum.

The leadership of the allied parties will ultimately decide on this, the defense minister continued. Elections should, in my opinion, be held within 90 days, and this works well for us.

"I think assemblies will be dissolved two days before their tenure. Had the field been left vacant in the assembly, it would have created too much difficulty."

Regarding his claim that PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari lacked integrity, he clarified that it was only his personal view and said that he was still wary of him.

Meanwhile, PPP sources stated that the party has been given five names for the caretaker PM position.