Anwarul Haq Kakar sworn in as Pakistan’s caretaker Prime Minister

Anwarul Haq Kakar sworn in as Pakistan’s caretaker Prime Minister

Anwarul Haq Kakar, an ethnic Pushtun leader who is considered close to the powerful military, was on Monday sworn in as Pakistan’s caretaker prime minister to head a neutral political set-up to run the cash-strapped country and conduct the next general elections.

President Arif Alvi administered the oath to 52-year-old Kakar at a simple ceremony held at the President House, attended by outgoing prime minister Shehbaz Sharif and several top leaders. He became the 8th interim prime minister of Pakistan.

Kakar, an ethnic Pushtun from the Balochistan province, was unanimously chosen as interim premier to oversee the elections as provided in the Constitution. He served as a senator but resigned from the post after his appointment as prime minister.

The acting premier, a first-time Senator, also resigned from the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), a party set up in 2018 and deemed closer to the powerful establishment of the country.

After taking the oath, Kakar drove to the PM House, the palatial official residence of prime minister nestled in the foothills of the Margalla mountains, where he was introduced to the new staff.

The immediate task of Kakar is to form a cabinet to assist him run the country.

According to insiders, Jalil Abbas Jilani, a former career diplomat, is expected to be appointed as foreign minister. He was also among the runners for the post of interim premier. Kakar now faces the daunting task of holding free and fair elections and keeping the fragile economy on an even keel.

Meanwhile, former premier Sharif left the PM House and was presented a farewell guard of honour by troops from the three services of the country.

Kakar’s name was agreed upon during the final day of consultations between Prime Minister Sharif and the Leader of the Opposition in the dissolved National Assembly, Raja Riaz Ahmad on Saturday.

Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjarani on Monday accepted Kakar’s resignation from the Senate ahead of the latter’s swearing-in as the caretaker prime minister.

A day earlier, Kakar announced his resignation from the Senate as well as the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), which he founded in 2018.

According to Geo News, Kakar stepped down from his post because he wanted to be an impartial interim premier.

Since it was his responsibility to hold free and fair general elections in cooperation with the Election Commission of Pakistan, he had decided to resign.

A notification issued by the Senate Secretariat on Monday notified Kakar’s resignation.

“Anwaarul Haq Kakar, a member Senate of Pakistan, has resigned his seat, as his principled stance of neutrality on becoming the caretaker prime minister, by writing under his hand in person before the Senate chairman,” the notification said.

“The honourable Senate chairman has been pleased to accept the resignation and consequently his seat has become vacant in terms of clause (1) of Article 64 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan with effect from August 14,” it added.

In a statement on Sunday, Sharif expressed confidence that Kakar would ensure fair elections. He said the “trust reposed by all parties in Kakar’s name proves their proper choice as the upcoming caretaker Prime Minister is an educated person and a patriot”.

According to Sharif, Kakar was decided upon under a constitutional process as he was the “most suitable person” to head the interim set-up.

Published On:

Aug 15, 2023

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