Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Raja Riaz has said that the opposition has finalised three names for the caretaker prime minister.
“There has not been a meeting with the prime minister. It is expected that a meeting will be held tomorrow,” he told Aaj News while responding to a question regarding his meeting with PM Shehbaz for discussing the caretaker PM’s names.
Riaz went on to add that he has concluded his consultations with opposition members regarding the nominees and that almost all the names have been finalised.
He refused to disclose the names decided by the opposition, saying “The names are 90% finalised. They will be Pakistanis”.
Earlier, leaders from the coalition parties gathered in the federal capital, just a day before the assembly is scheduled to be dissolved, for distribution of the ministries in the interim setup, sources told Aaj News.
They added that political bigwigs Asif Ali Zardari, Maulana Fazlur Rehman and top leaders of allied parties have arrived in Islamabad. The leaders have apparently agreed on the formation of the caretaker government.
According to reports, the interim setup’s tenure could be extended to six to 10 months, leading to speculations that the general elections would be delayed till spring 2024. But the Pakistan Peoples Party and some other coalition partners have expressed concerns over the extension of the interim setup.
The meetings of the huddle come amid three federal ministers’ statement that elections could be delayed till 2024. They have made such a statement against the backdrop of the August 5 decision of the Council of Common Interests.
Allies would have the same ministries in the interim setup which they head in the incumbent government tenure, sources said.
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PM Shehbaz would address the last session of the National Assembly on Wednesday (tomorrow) and he would forward the assembly dissolution summary to President Arif Alvi.
Sources added that a meeting between Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Raja Riaz was expected in a few hours.
The consultation between the opposition and the government coalition was under way for the caretaker setup. Names of former finance minister Hafeez Sheikh and former jurist Justice (retd) Maqbool Baqir are being considered for the caretaker prime minister, according to reports.
Apart from this, the names of Muhammad Mian Soomro and Makhdoom Ahmed Mehmood are also being considered for the coveted slot.