All nominees are equal but some are more equal than others


ISLAMABAD: With only one day to the dissolution of the National Assembly (NA), Islamabad’s favourite gossip today revolves around one question – who is going to be the next caretaker prime minister (PM) of Pakistan?

Most political pundits are of the belief that all major contenders from Punjab have been overshadowed by the name of a seasoned economist from Sindh province.

Off-record discussions with high-ranking members of the coalition government indicate that the list of nominees for the slot has been narrowed down quite significantly. However, the emergence of an unexpected ‘dark horse’ the likely nominee remains a possibility.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) insiders informed Hum News English that they proposed finance minister Ishaq Dar for the caretaker prime minister role as a countermeasure. This was in response to the ‘influential circles’ consistently advocating for former finance minister Hafeez Sheikh for the top position.

Shehbaz and Raja Riaz meet tomorrow to discuss caretaker PM

“The counter strategy of PML-N didn’t achieve the desired outcome as ‘influential circles’ continue to back Hafeez Sheikh,” they commented while adding that, “the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) also suggested names, including Makhdoom Syed Ahmad Mehmood, but to no avail.”

A senior party figure, on condition of anonymity, spoke of the alarm bells that went off within PML-N upon learning of a proposal to appoint Sheikh as caretaker PM – maybe even for an extended 2-year term.

“It felt like a significant setback for our party’s political future, prompting leadership to propose Ishaq Dar as a countermove. However, prevailing negative public sentiment eventually compelled us to abandon the idea,” he remarked.

“While we seemingly couldn’t secure our preferred candidate for the caretaker prime minister role, we anticipate substantial representation in the interim cabinet.”

One of the potential nominees for the slot of caretaker PM told Hum News English that, “Pakistan’s need for political stability and unwavering economic policies is paramount. If entrusted with the role, I am committed to delivering to the best of my abilities.”

When probed further, he mentioned, “I am privy to the information about the one highly favoured name. I hope, if chosen, the individual will dedicate himself to the nation’s advancement and prosperity.”

Some allege the top contender for caretaker PM neither pays taxes nor engages in employment or business within Pakistan.

“All his financial interests and assets are located overseas, exempting him from any tax obligations in Pakistan,” said a senior politician.

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