ECP appoints Mohsin Naqvi as caretaker CM for Punjab

\The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Sunday appointed Syed Mohsin Raza Naqvi as the caretaker chief minister of Punjab, Aaj News re...

\The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Sunday appointed Syed Mohsin Raza Naqvi as the caretaker chief minister of Punjab, Aaj News reported.

The decision was made during a meeting held with Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja in the chair.

ECP Secretary Umar Hameed Khan, Special Secretary Zafar Iqbal Hussain, director generals and additional DGs of the relevant departments were among the 15 attendees of the speciation meeting of the electoral watchdog.

The matter was sent to the ECP under Clause 3 of Article 224-A of the Constitution as the parliamentary committee comprising three members each from both the PTI-PML-Q and the opposition failed to reach a consensus on the name of the interim CM.

Soon after the announcement, Chief Minister Punjab Parvez Elahi rejected the appointment of Mohsin Naqvi as caretaker chief executive of the province, saying it was a "partial and biased decision."

"How can justice be expected from the person who made a plea bargain of Rs3.5 million in the Haris Steel case," Elahis said and announced to challenge the decision in the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, PTI Senior Vice-President Fawad Chaudhry said his party rejected the appointment of Naqvi as caretaker Punjab chief executive and vowed to launch a massive campaign against “this system”.

“No other options left but taking to the streets against this system,” he said.

He added that they rejected the ECP’s decision about appointing a “controversial” person to the key post.

Taking a jibe at the electoral watchdog, he said, “The ECP never disappointed them.”

Fawad asked the PTI’s activists to prepare themselves for a massive campaign under the leadership of Imran Khan.

Earlier, the government side comprising PTI and PML-Q proposed the names of Sardar Ahmad Nawaz Sukhera and Naveed Akram Cheema while the opposition proposed Syed Mohsin Raza Naqvi and Ahad Khan Cheema for the CM slot.

Earlier, the parliamentary committee comprising Muhammad Basharat Raja, Mian Aslam Iqbal, and Hashim Jawan Bakht and the opposition side comprising Malik Ahmed Khan, Hasan Murtaza and Malik Nadeem Kamran met at the Punjab Assembly but failed to reach a consensus on a single name.

Talking to the media after the meeting, PTI leader Raja Basharat said that the ECP will decide on the name of the caretaker Punjab CM.

He said the names given by their side were much better than those proposed by the opposition.

He claimed that both the names given by the opposition were not suitable considering the people’s opinion.

He said that the opposition should not have given the names of the people who have criminal records.

He said the decisions should be made that are acceptable to the masses. He made it clear they will approach the judiciary if any controversial figure is chosen to become the caretaker CM.

PML-N leader Malik Ahmad Khan told the media that it was unfortunate that the decision could not be taken at the political level, as the parliamentary party session ended in a stalemate.

He said they were hoping to resolve the issue on a political level but the government proposed controversial personalities. The name of the officer of the Federal Public Commission is also controversial as it is clear in the constitution, he added.

To a query, he said cases were made against Ahad Cheema by NAB during Imran Khan’s rule. “Did Ahad Cheema not build the Metro? Did he not complete the task of Orange Line and power plants,” he questioned.

He said the name of Mohsin Raza Naqvi was rejected due to personal preference or dislike.