This Article is From Mar 14, 2013

Raja Pervez Ashraf proposes names for caretaker Pakistan PM ahead of polls

Raja Pervez Ashraf proposes names for caretaker Pakistan PM ahead of polls
Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf today proposed the name of former minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh and banker Ishrat Hussain besides a retired judge for heading an interim administration and sought early response from opposition to set the stage for elections.

Mr Ashraf announced the ruling Pakistan People's Party's candidates for the post of caretaker Prime Minister two days before his government completes its five-year term.

In a letter sent to Leader of Opposition Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, he proposed former Finance Minister Shaikh, former State Bank of Pakistan chief Hussain and retired judge Mir Hazar Khan Khoso.

"I look forward to an early response so that we can put a closure to the issue and move forward to set the stage for holding general elections in the country," Mr Ashraf said in the letter.

He described the three candidates, chosen following consultations within the PPP and with the party's allies in the ruling coalition, as "persons of known standing, integrity and competence".

Earlier, Mr Khan, a senior leader of the main opposition PML-N party, had proposed retired judges Nasir Aslam Zahid and Shakirullah Jan and Sindhi Awami Tehrik chief Rasool Bakhsh Palejo as candidates to lead the interim administration that will oversee the general election expected to be held sometime in May.

Mr Ashraf invited Mr Khan for discussions at a "mutually convenient time so that we can agree on a suitable person in line with the constitutional obligations".

Only one of the candidates proposed by the ruling party and opposition - Rasool Baksh Palejo - is a politician and the others are technocrats or retired judges.