Published On: Mon, Jul 31st, 2023

Nawaz Sharif to be Pakistan PM if party returns to power

Islamabad: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has ruled out the possibility of the appointment of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar as the caretaker prime minister, saying a “neutral person” will be selected to lead the interim government next month to make upcoming general elections transparent.

He said the PML-N would try to make seat adjustments with allied parties

Shehbaz Sharif, also the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party president indicated that Nawaz Sharif, three-time former prime minister and his elder brother, who has been living in self-imposed exile in London since 2019 will return to Pakistan in the next few weeks.

The 73-year-old PML-N supremo will be the Prime Minister if the party wins the election, he said.

He told Geo News that the notification of the dissolution of the National Assembly (NA) would be sent to President Arif Alvi a few days ahead of the completion of the tenure of the lower house of Parliament. He maintained that the NA will complete its tenure at 12 midnight on August 12.

He said the caretaker set-up would be agreed upon after consultation with allied parties, PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif, and the leader of opposition in the National Assembly Raja Riaz. Shehbaz’s remarks came after rumours suggesting that Dar would be appointed as the interim prime minister so that the cash-strapped country which recently received nearly USD 3 billion from the IMF as a bailout can implement the policies to overcome the financial woes.

“A neutral person should be appointed to this position so that no one could question the results of the election,” Shehbaz said, agreeing with his coalition partners who favoured a non-partisan politician to lead the caretaker set-up. “I assure you there will be a very efficient interim government at the Centre,” he added.

He said the PML-N would try to make seat adjustments with allied parties, adding that the party would field his candidate in the constitutes where they could not reach a consensus. A bill to empower the caretaker set-up to take policy decisions was recently passed by Parliament. Shehbaz also said that PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif will face the law upon his return to Pakistan.

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