Crisis-hit Pakistan shifts to election mode as interim PM is nominated

Islamabad, Aug 12 (EFE).- Pakistan nominated a caretaker prime minister on Saturday to oversee the upcoming general elections later this year in a country grappling with months of political turmoil.

Anwarul Haq Kakar, a politician from the troubled Balochistan province in the south, takes over from Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who stepped down earlier this week.

Sharif’s resignation paved the way for President Arif Alvi to dissolve the parliament, beginning the countdown to the polls likely to be held in November.

A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office Saturday said Kakar’s nomination was finalized in a meeting between Sharif and the outgoing leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, Raja Riaz.

“There was agreement over the name of Anwaar Ul Haq Kakar,” the statement reads.

A joint letter signed by Sharif and the opposition leader was sent to President Alvi for approval.

According to the constitution, after an elected assembly concludes its tenure or is dissolved, the outgoing prime minister must finalize a name for their successor.

Sharif dissolved the parliament on Aug. 9, three days before its term was set to end.

Kakar, currently a member of the Senate or upper house, belongs to the Balochistan Awami party.

Pakistan’s shift to election mode comes amid a deepening political crisis sparked by the arrest and disqualification of former prime minister Imran Khan – unarguably the most popular politician in the country.

The opposition leader was convicted and jailed for three years over alleged corruption and subsequently barred from holding office for five years.

The disqualification decision by the election commission on Tuesday evening prevents him from participating in the upcoming elections later this year.

The former cricket star, who switched to politics, has denied any wrongdoing and remains hopeful of having his conviction overturned through an appeal process. EFE


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