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Caretaker premier: Meeting between PM Shehbaz, Raja Riaz delayed

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  • Raja Riaz cites busy schedule as reason for delay.
  • Riaz says name to be decided after consultation.
  • Pakistan’s parliament is due to be dissolved today.

LAHORE: The much-awaited meeting between Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Opposition leader Raja Riaz today (Wednesday), to deliberate over names of caretaker premier ahead of general elections, is yet again postponed, sources informed Geo News

According to the sources, the reason behind the delay is Raja Riaz’s busy schedule, as he is unable to meet with the prime minister today.

However, he himself confirmed that despite the delay, his meeting will be held today. “It is possible to meet the prime minister again tomorrow.”

The meeting between the two was scheduled to be held today at 4pm, while the Opposition leader was informed about it in writing.

Pakistan’s parliament is due to be dissolved today, ushering in a technocrat-led interim government to oversee an election that will not include PTI Chairman Imran Khan.

The country has been in political turmoil since the former premier, who was ousted after a no-confidence motion last year, was arrested for graft during the weekend following a months-long crackdown on his party.

By law, elections should be held within 90 days of parliament’s dissolution, but the outgoing government has already warned they are likely to be delayed.

When asked if there was a deadlock between him and the premier, Raja Riaz denied any such proposition. He also confirmed that the assembly will be dissolved today.

“There is time for three days, during which consultations will be done together,” he said, adding that the names for interim premier will go to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), if there is no agreement on the three names.

Riaz insisted that he will ensure an agreement on one name with the prime minister. “All efforts will be made to finalise the name of the interim [premier] with the prime minister.”

Geo News asked the Opposition leader if a politician or a bureaucrat be better for the post. “There will be a better name that will be appreciated by the public and the media,” he replied.

The opposition leader, on Tuesday, spoke with Geo News stating that the proposed names of the interim prime ministers will be shared by the government, adding that he will also suggest a few names from his side.

“Prior to this, no name for the caretaker prime minister from the premier was given nor was there any consultation,” Riaz said.

He said that he has finalised three names after the consultation with his colleagues. Riaz told Geo News that PM Shehbaz said the decision of the caretaker prime minister will be made through collective consultation.

“Shehbaz Sharif had said that no name has been shortlisted yet for the caretaker prime minister and Nawaz Sharif is being consulted on this matter,” Riaz said, adding that the PML-N is trying to introduce an acceptable name for the position.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah earlier confirmed that former finance minister Hafeez Sheikh’s name was shortlisted for the post.

On the other hand, PM Shehbaz had Tuesday confirmed that he would write to President Dr Arif Alvi today (August 9) to dissolve the National Assembly, which would bring the incumbent government’s term to a marginally premature end.

The government has announced that assemblies will be dissolved three days ahead of the mandated period, following which elections are to be held within 90 days.

Addressing a ceremony in Islamabad, PM Shehbaz said: “After completing our [government’s] term tomorrow, I will write and send [the advice] to the president to dissolve the assembly and then an interim government will take over.”

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No “major breakthrough” in the opposition-led JUI-F and PTI meeting

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Maulana Fazalur Rehman stated that mending rifts in relationships and getting rid of resentment in an interview with the media in Islamabad with a team from the Tehreek-e-Tahafuz-e-Ayeen-e-Pakistan that paid him a visit.

While no significant progress was made at the meeting, all sides decided to keep in touch in order to plan for the future.

“A positive message,” according to the JUI-F chief, was received with open arms by the delegation. Taking a “united” stance on national issues was the primary goal of the meeting, he said.

Democracy is losing its appeal, and Pakistan’s parliament and constitution are losing their respect. In parliament, Maulana Fazalur Rehman continued, “we should have a single voice.”

Remarking on the event, National Assembly Opposition Leader Omar Ayub thanked the JUI-F leader for ‘warmly’ receiving the group.

We had a fruitful discussion in the meeting, he declared, urging the opposition parties to work with the PTI to “protect” the constitution.

Constitutional violations and a lack of a rule of law are the claims made by Omar Ayub. According to him, there was “no reason” why the police searched the PTI’s Islamabad central secretariat office.

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In the instance of illegal recruitment, Pervaiz Elahi is granted bail.

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The earlier-reserved court ruling was delivered by LHC Judge Sultan Tanveer Ahmad on Tuesday.

LHC had filed a post-arrest bail motion, according to the former chief minister.

On October 25, 2023, Pervaiz was taken into custody by the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE).

From June 1 to September 18, Elahi has been arrested in a number of crimes; the most recent one was reported by the Punjab ACE on September 18.

More: Pervaiz Elahi’s condition “deteriorated” in Adiala jail; he was hurried to PIMS.

In the Punjab Assembly, Elahi illegally hired 12 people for grade 17 positions, according to information provided by an ACE representative.

In the provincial assembly, the candidates were chosen through record-altering.

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The bail petition of Parvez Elahi in the Jinnah House attack case has been rejected by the ATC.

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A bail application filed by Chaudhry Parvez Elahi, a leader of the Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) party, in the Jinnah House attack case has been rejected by an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) on the grounds of prematurity.

ATC Judge Arshad Javed announced the decision during today’s hearing.

The counsel representing Parvez Elahi contended that there was a significant likelihood of his client being arrested in relation to the Jinnah House attack case. It was stated that the ex-Chief Minister had previously been held in custody on judicial remand in other cases.

The petitioner requested the court to authorise the release of Parvez Elahi on bail in the Jinnah House attack case.

Nevertheless, the prosecution argued that the bail petition did not meet the necessary legal criteria, emphasising that Parvez Elahi had not been apprehended in connection with the case.

Considering these considerations, the court rejected Parvez Elahi’s request for release, stating that it was premature since he had not been arrested in the Jinnah House attack case.

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