The information minister has rebutted media reports that claimed that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has opposed Ishaq Dar as interim prime minister.
“Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has not chosen or ruled out any candidate for interim Prime Minister yet,” Marriyum Aurangzeb tweeted on Monday. “The appointment of the interim PM will be carried out according to the procedure laid down in the Constitution, both in letter and spirit.”
Her reaction came after media reports that the prime minister has allegedly ruled out finance czar Dar from the race for the coveted slot, which was granted extra powers last week through amendments to the Election Act, 2017.
The “reports and speculation” started after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s interview with Geo News which was aired on July 30, 2023.
“A neutral person should be appointed to this position so that no one could question the elections’ results,” PM Shehbaz told Saleem Safi of the private news channel on his show Jirga. The premier agreed with his coalition partners who favoured a non-partisan politician to lead the caretaker set-up.
He reiterated that the interim set-up would be agreed upon after consultation with allied parties, PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif and Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Raja Riaz. According to the Constitution, the premier has to consult with the opposition leader for the interim PM.
“I assure you there will be a very efficient interim government at the Centre,” PM Shehbaz added.
In her tweet, the information minister also said that the premier would consult with all coalition parties in the government and would obtain “guidance” from PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif to identify the “most suitable” candidate.
The PML-N government has taken all of the crucial decisions after consulting with Nawaz and other parties in the coalition were not wary of this. But many experts have expressed concerns that the reins of the government were controlled by Nawaz while Shehbaz is the premier.
Sherry Rehman of the PPP was also of the view that Nawaz was the main leader of the PML-N and it was not something unusual.
Defence Minister Khawaja Asif also recently revealed that the extension in tenure given to former army chief General (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa was given after consultation with senior leadership in London.
So far, the government has maintained that it would consult allies and follow Constitution. “After consulting with allies, the PM will consult with the Leader of the Opposition to make a decision on the matter, as per the Constitution,” said Marriyum.