Islamabad, July 31 (IANS) Pakistan opposition members on Monday failed to arrive at a consensus on a single candidate for the interim Prime Minister following Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification by the Supreme Court in the Panamagate case.
President Mamnoon Hussain has called a session of the National Assembly on Tuesday for the election of an interim Prime Minister, Dawn reported.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s nominee Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who is currently facing a Rs 220 billion corruption inquiry being carried out by the National Accountability Bureau, submitted his nomination papers to Parliament Secretary Jawad Rafiq Malik on Monday.
Abbasi, who was chosen by the PML-N party unanimously, said once elected, he would continue with the policies of ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
The opposition failed to agree on one nominee, with each party throwing its weight behind different candidates who too submitted their nomination papers.
The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), led by cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, put forward Awami Muslim League (AML) leader Sheikh Rashid’s name, but could not gain the support of any other party apart from Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid. The Awami Muslim League, significantly, was floated by former President (Gen) Parvez Musharraf.
The Pakistan Peoples Party of the late Benazir Bhutto nominated Khursheed Shah and Naveed Qamar, Muttahida Qaumi Movement chose Kishwar Zehra, while Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) suggested the name of Sahibzada Tariqullah.
Defending the party’s decision to nominate Sheikh Rashid, PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that the AML leader “deserved the honour” (of becoming the interim PM) as he fought the Panama papers case “on both political and legal fronts” along with PTI chairman Imran Khan.
Qureshi and PPP’s Khursheed Shah both expressed hope that the opposition parties would continue to make efforts to agree on a single candidate to be pitted against former Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.