Pakistan’s former judge named caretaker PM

Islamabad, March 24 (IANS) Pakistan’s election panel Sunday named Mir Hazar Khan Khoso, a former judge of the country’s top court, as caretaker prime minister, officials said.

Chief Election Commissioner Fakhruddin G. Ibrahim announced that Khoso, a former judge of the Supreme Court and former chief justice of the high court in Balochistan, will lead the interim government.
Justice Khoso, 84, was the nominee from the former ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).
The main opposition Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) had objected the nomination of Khoso, saying he is very close to President Asif Ali Zardari and the PPP.
The Election Commissioner told reporters here that the parliamentary committee, comprised the PPP and PML-N, proposed four names to the election panel.
“We had detailed discussions on the names and decided by majority that Mir Hazar Khan Khoso will be the caretaker prime minister,” he said.
A section of the media reported said that four of the five members of the election commission voted for Khoso.
The caretaker prime minister will lead an interim government that will supervise the May 11 parliamentary election and transition to the new government.
After swearing in, the caretaker prime minister will announce an interim cabinet to run affairs in the coming two months, officials said.
The Election Commission named the caretaker prime minister in line with the constitutional provisions after the PPP and the PML-N.
Both parties had failed to reach a consensus on a name for the highest post in their six-day talks on four names and the issue was later referred to the election panel.
The PPP and PML-N had proposed two names each but rejected each other’s nominations mostly on political grounds.
Caretaker governments have already been set up in three out of four provinces and the interim government in Punjab province has not yet been announced over the PPP and PML-N differences.
Justice Khoso belongs to Jaffarabad district in Balochistan province.
He has served as judge of the Balochistan High Court, and was later promoted to assume the position of chief justice of Balochistan High Court for a tenure spanning from 1990 to 1991.
Political watchers said that as a judicial officer, Khoso kept away from politics while serving as a judge in the superior courts.
They said Khoso enjoys respect and trust in Balochistan from all social sectors and political parties.