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ISLAMABAD: Five former superior court judges, who form the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), are going to decide the caretaker prime minister and four interim chief ministers if political parties fail to do so with a consensus.
Twenty nominations, four each for the offices of the prime minister and four chief ministers, from both sides, will ultimately land at the ECP.
Intense wrangling will ensue and the matter may land in the Supreme Court for decision about the appointment of caretaker chief ministers in Sindh and Balochistan for various legal lacunae, experts apprehend.
What has made the scenario dicey is the promulgation of the governor’s rule in Balochistan and lack of nomination of the leader of the opposition in the Sindh Assembly.
“We tried hard to get our chief Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim appointed as opposition leader in the Sindh Assembly, but the speaker did not act,” said Arbab Zulfikar Ali, nephew of the former chief minister, who is member of the provincial assembly.
The result is that Sindh has no opposition leader since Arbab Ghulam Rahim was unseated by the assembly for long absence that was later stayed by the Sindh High Court.
Pir Pagara’s Pakistan Muslim League-Functional, which parted company with the ruling coalition, proposed Nusrat Sehar Abbasi as the opposition leader, and formally approached the Speaker for her appointment.
However, the speaker has turned down the plea saying that Abbasi has not proved the support of majority of opposition lawmakers as 10 out of the total signed the application in her favour, which is yet to be confirmed.
The matter has now been raised in the court against this decision.
ISLAMABAD: Two-day Pakistan-India talks on Wullar Barrage have been postponed amid renewed tensions between the two countries over ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC).
The water secretaries of the two countries were to meet today and tomorrow to discuss the dispute over Wullar Barrage/Tulbul Navigation Project.
“The talks have been postponed. New dates would be conveyed later,” a Foreign Office official said. Talks over Wullar Barrage would have been the first of a series of resumed bilateral dialogue this year. Many see the postponement as an unannounced suspension of the dialogue in its third round.
An official said Indian delegation had confirmed their participation but have now sought postponement. Tensions between the two countries flared when Indian troops launched a cross-LoC raid on a Pakistani post in Haji Pir Sector on January 6.
Two more Pakistani soldiers died in subsequent ceasefire violations. There was also an attack on an Indian military patrol near LoC, which Delhi blamed on Pakistani military. The attack was denied by Pakistan Army.
Pakistan Foreign Office repeatedly expressed desire for de-escalation and proposed a meeting of foreign ministers.