Ishaq Dar sees ‘no legal hurdle’ for senator to become caretaker PM


ISLAMABAD, AUG 11: As the guessing game is in full swing over the possible candidate for the coveted slot of interim prime minister, former finance minister Senator Ishaq Dar has said there is no legal bar for a senator to become the caretaker PM.

His remarks came soon after President Arif Alvi instructed Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and outgoing Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Raja Riaz to propose a name for the appointment of interim premier by tomorrow (Saturday).After the first round of consultations on the caretaker prime minister yesterday, the opposition leader and PM Shehbaz failed to agree on a name and are yet to reveal the identities of the people in the run for the post. The second round of consultations over the matter will be held today in Islamabad.It is pertinent to mention here that three names have been proposed, including two nominations — former diplomat Jalil Abbas Jilani and former chief justice of Pakistan Tassaduq Hussain Jilani — sent by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Sindh Governor Kamran Tessori, by Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P).However, there’s no public announcement by the PML-N in this regard.According to reports, names of Ishaq Dar, former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and ex-caretaker premier Mohammad Mian Soomro are also under consideration for the slot.Last month, reacting to reports claiming PML-N and PPP reached a consensus on the name of Dar as the caretaker premier, former federal minister for climate change Sherry Rehman had said. “A person was crowned as caretaker prime minister via fake news.”During an informal interaction with journalists in the Senate today, Dar — in reply to a query about caretaker CM — said he believes no one can stop when Allah chose a person for any work.The PML-N financial czar said he never sought the finance ministry for the fourth time but by the grace of Allah, he was appointed to the post after a span of five years. “There is no legal hurdle for a senator to become a caretaker minister or CM.”Responding to another question about the apex court’s verdict in connection with the “Supreme Court (Review of Judgments and Orders) Act 2023”, the PML-N senator said they would devise their political and legal strategy after consultation with law experts.Dar said that upcoming elections would be held on the basis of the 2023 digital census, adding that it is not written anywhere in the Constitution that general elections must be held before the Senate polls, which are slated to be held in March 2024.