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'Neutral' person to be picked for interim premier post: Pakistan PM Sharif

Shehbaz Sharif indicated that his elder brother Nawaz Sharif, who has been living in self-imposed exile in London since 2019 will return to Pakistan in the next few weeks

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif

Press Trust of India Islamabad

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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.
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.
Nawaz Sharif was disqualified in 2017 by the Supreme Court. In 2018, he became ineligible to hold public office for life after a Supreme Court verdict in the Panama Papers case.
The PML-N supreme leader has been living in self-exile in the United Kingdom since November 2019.
Before his departure to London on a four-week bail by the Lahore High Court on medical grounds, Nawaz Sharif was serving a seven-year jail term in the Al-Azizia Mills corruption case.
About forthcoming elections, the premier said Nawaz Sharif would be the next prime minister if his party came to power.
Responding to a question, Shehbaz termed the May 9 riots triggered by the arrest of former prime minister Imran Khan in a graft case a conspiracy against Pakistan.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Jul 31 2023 | 11:18 AM IST

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