PTI, JI to have say in caretaker set-up: Gilani
LAHORE: In addition to the parties in parliament, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has decided in principle to involve the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf (PTI) and Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) in the consultative process for setting up a caretaker government, according to former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.
“Yes, we have decided to involve the PTI and JI in the consultative process for the caretaker set-up which will soon begin,” Mr Gilani said.
Talking to Dawn on Tuesday, the senior vice-chairman of the PPP said all mainstream parties, including the PTI and JI, would be invited to discuss the interim government. “In case no consensus is reached in this regard, the Election Commission of Pakistan will finalise the caretaker set-up under the law,” he said. The former prime minister said the opposition PML-N now appeared to have reached the conclusion that the general election should be held on time.
“The opposition is pressing the government not to delay the election. Now it appears to be more concerned about this issue,” he said.
Mr Gilani said the PPP believed in free and fair election as it was in the best interest of his party. “Take the example of Abdul Qadir Gilani’s by-poll in Multan, the Punjab government was using its machinery and all main parties, including PML-N, PTI and JI and rightists, were with their joint candidate (Shaukat Bosan); and even Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry’s picture was displayed, but my son still won as the PPP is the party of the masses.
“It also shows that in case of an independent ECP and impartial caretaker government the PPP will have more advantage in the general election,” said the former premier who was disqualified by the Supreme Court in June for not writing a letter to the Swiss authorities to reopen graft cases against President Asif Zardari.
He added that PPP’s opponents would not point finger at the ruling coalition in the presence of an interim government of their choice.
Another leader said that after consulting its allies the PPP would invite the opposition and other parties outside parliament to propose names for the caretaker government, probably next month. The PTI and JI have been asking the PPP-led government not to keep them out of the process.
“It is our genuine demand to include the political parties outside parliament in the process,” PTI information secretary Shafqat Mahmood said.
He said authenticity of the next election would be questionable if a caretaker set-up was formed without involving all major players.