Asif says five names shortlisted for caretaker PM slot

ISLAMABAD (PPI): Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif revealed Friday that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) had shortlisted five names for the slot of caretaker prime minister.

In a statement, the PML-N stalwart confirmed that all the shortlisted candidates are politicians. He also clarified that he had not received any offer to lead the interim setup.

Mr Asif said the names of the candidates would also be discussed with other political parties and hoped that a name would be finalised within a week. He announced that the final decision would be taken by the leadership of the coalition partners.

“In my opinion elections should be held in 90 days as it suits us,” he said while talking about the prevailing political situation in the country. He also hinted at premature dissolution of the National Assembly, saying: “I thing assemblies would be dissolved two days before their tenue ends”.

“It would have been very difficult if the field in the assembly had been left vacant,” he said.

The defence minister also rubbished the reports that Finance Minister Ishaq Dar’s name had been recommended for the post of the caretaker prime minister. He said Mr Dar had never expressed such intensions at any forum.

Talking about his statement that PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari was not trust worthy person, he said it was his opinion, adding: “I am still cautious about him”.