Abdullah Hussain Haroon, the Pakistan’s envoy to the United Nations is still the most favorite candidate as next caretaker prime minister of Pakistan. Though leading lawyer Asma Jahangir, ex-president of the Supreme Court Bar Association has been ruled out by the military, she is still hopeful that both PPP and PML-N might support her for the role.
Military’s preference, which normally has the last word in Pakistan, is to appoint some obscure and homeopathic personality from the Balochistan province in order to appease the anti-Pakistan sentiment in that restive province. Military clearly hasn’t learned lessons from the past folly of appointing Jamali as premier for the same reasons with adverse effects.
Not much time is left and if both PPP and PML-N want that they have a say in the caretaker setup and they do it, then they need to sit at the table this moment and start intense consultations. This present regime will complete its term on March 18, 2013 after which a caretaker government will be formed. That’s not an easy task and given the fissures between these two parties and other players, it would require months to agree on caretaker premier, governors, chief ministers and so on.
Despite of all the ills, this is a good sign in Pakistan that at last one government is completing its term. The discussions between the PPP and PML-N will be crucial for the first transition from one popularly elected government to another in Pakistan’s history.
Government should announce the election date and the caretaker government immediately after consultation with the opposition and then iron out the details later.