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In a first, elected Pak govt finishes full term in office

world Updated: Mar 17, 2013 01:22 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad
Imtiaz Ahmad
Hindustan Times
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Saturday was the last working day of the Pakistan People's Party government, which set a new record by becoming the first democratically elected government to complete its full five-year term.

But as Pakistan heads for the dissolution of parliament and the name of a caretaker government ahead of May's general elections, the ruling and opposition parties are unable to agree on the choice of a caretaker PM.

There is still dispute over several issues, including choice of prime minister in the interim government, the choice of chief ministers in the provinces and the dates for the elections to the national and provincial assemblies. On Saturday, the ruling party decided to propose that all elections be held on one day. This proposal has been rejected by the opposition.

Earlier, the opposition PML-N party rejected two possible candidates named by the ruling party on the ground that both had been first nominated to public positions by the government of General Musharraf.

Opposition leader Nisar Ali Khan, who represents the PML-N party of Mian Nawaz Sharif, told the media that former finance minister Dr Hafeez Shaikh and former governor of the State (Central) Bank, Dr Ishrat Husain, were first appointed by Musharraf. "That is why they are not acceptable to us," he said on Friday.

In reply, on Saturday, Pakistan People's Party (PPP) information minister Qamar Zaman Kaira voiced his concerns over the two names nominated by the opposition.

Kaira said that Justice (retd) Nasir Aslam Zahid, one of the strongest candidates proposed by the opposition, was the brother-in-law of Justice Nizam, a Karachi judge who was murdered and in whose murder the then government implicated President Zardari.

On the nomination of another candidate, Rasul Buksh Paleejo, the information minister said Paleejo's son was fighting elections against a PPP candidate.