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Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar takes oath as Pakistan's 8th caretaker Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif wishes 'good luck'

Pakistan President Arif Alvi administered the oath to Kakar at the Aiwan-i-Sadr, in Islamabad in the presence of many dignitaries including former PM Shehbaz Sharif.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee Islamabad Updated on: August 14, 2023 20:38 IST
Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar has been sworn in as Pakistan's eighth
Image Source : ANWAAR-UL-HAQ KAKAR/TWITTER Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar has been sworn in as Pakistan's eighth interim PM

Former Pakistani Senator and leader of the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) Anwaar-ul-Haq has been sworn in as the cash-strapped country's eighth caretaker Prime Minister on Monday, following the dissolution of the National Assembly and ahead of the upcoming general election.

Pakistan President Arif Alvi administered the oath to Kakar at his official residence called the Aiwan-i-Sadr, in Islamabad in the presence of former PM Shehbaz Sharif, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Asim Munir, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Nadeem Raza among others, Dawn reported.

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, Sharif said, "Best of luck, Kakar sb! (Now tweeting, in fact posting, as former PM :)"

On Sunday, outgoing PM Sharif exuded confidence that Kakar would ensure the process of fair elections. "The trust reposed by all parties in Kakar’s name proves their proper choice as the upcoming caretaker PM is an educated person and a patriot," he said.

The announcement of Kakar's name as the next interim PM of Pakistan came after repeated meetings between Sharif and former opposition leader Raja Riaz and several weeks of speculation over the names of candidates. 

Kakar's first task as caretaker PM would be to constitute a Cabinet to run the country as it heads into election period that could last for months. Although the rules say that the elections must be held within 90 days, it could be delayed after the latest census as the top electoral watchdog would require time to redraw constituency boundaries.

The swearing-in ceremony coincided with Pakistan's independence day.

Who is the new caretaker PM of Pakistan?

Senator Anwar ul Haq Kakar, who has been designated as the newly appointed interim Prime Minister of Pakistan, is a notable political figure from Balochistan. Kakar was elected to the Senate in 2018 as an independent candidate from Balochistan. 

Since then he has been a very active politician. He has also served as the spokesperson of the provincial government prior to his election to the upper house. In 2008, Kakar contested the National Assembly election from Quetta on the ticket of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid. 

Earlier today, Sadiq Sanjarani, Chairman of the Pakistan Senate accepted Kakar's resignation. Kakar announced his resignation from the upper house as well as the BAP, which he founded five years ago, in order to remain an 'impartial' PM.

What does a caretaker government do?

A caretaker government, by Pakistani law, is tasked to oversee day-to-day matters important to the government but is not allowed to make major policy decisions except for urgent matters. A caretaker government is also supposed to restrict itself to routine, non-controversial, and reversible matters.

A caretaker Prime Minister is expected to be an impartial person towards any person or political party. However, in some cases, it has been found that caretaker governments have overstepped their boundaries, such as in 2013, where all appointments, transfers, and holdings by the interim authority were revoked by the Supreme Court.

What about Pakistan's general elections?

Notably, the Pakistan National Assembly has 342 seats-- 272 of which are directly elected, 60 are reserved for women, and ten for religious minorities. According to the country's constitution, at least 70 seats reserved for women and religious minorities are allocated to the political parties as per their proportional representation.

Pakistan's upcoming election was scheduled in November. However, a delay in the elections has become almost certain with the approval of the results of the 2023 digital census as a fresh delimitation, which may take months, has now become compulsory. Riaz has now enunciated that the general elections would be held in February

ALSO READ | Pakistan bans journalists on TV channels who are critical of military, Shehbaz Sharif government

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