ISLAMABAD – In a landmark development, the federal government and opposition on Monday decided to appoint former chief justice of Pakistan Justice (retd) Nasirul Mulk as the caretaker prime minister.

The name was announced in a presser jointly held by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Leader of the Opposition Khursheed Shah, ending six-week long impasse over the name of interim premier.

Speaker National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq, Information Minister Mariyam Aurengzaib and other dignitaries were present in the much-anticipated presser.

Addressing the conference, PM Abbasi termed it a historic day, saying the government was set to complete its constitutional term. He added that the person who has been selected has a clean background.

The name of Mulk was announced by the opposition leader, who also called it a historic day. He expressed hope that the caretaker PM will hold transparent elections.

Justice Nasirul Mulk’s Background

Mulk had served as the 22nd Chief Justice of Pakistan after his appointment on July 6, 2014. Earlier, he served as the acting Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan, from 30 November 2013 to 6 July 2014.

Prior to be elevated as senior justice in the apex court in 2005, Mulk tenured as the chief justice of Peshawar High Court in 2004.

During his short tenure as the chief justice, Nasirul Mulk gave four historical judgments, which have strengthened democracy in Pakistan.

Justice Mulk was also leading the bench that had dismissed  a plea to disqualify then PM Nawaz Sharif for lying on the floor of the house. His role during 2014 sit-ins by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) was also appreciated by the senior lawyers.

Justice Mulk is one of the judges who accepted the task of investigating the rigging in 2013 general elections. All the major parties praised his conduct during the proceedings of the inquiry commission. After 86-day long probe, the former justice had rejected the allegations.

He was also heading the bench which disqualified former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, who found guilty of contempt of court for refusing to reopen corruption cases against then president Asif Ali Zardari.

PTI Hails Nomination

PTI Chairman Imran Khan has hailed the nomination of Justice (retd) Mulk. He also congratulated the former chief justice on being appointed as caretaker prime minister.

Earlier today, the both high ups held a meeting in Islamabad. As the meeting ended, Shah talking to reporters said that the govt and opposition have succeeded in breaking the ice over the issue.

The government had suggested the names of Justice (r) Tassaduq Jilani and Dr Ishrat Hussain and Justice (retd) Nasir-ul-Mulk for the slot.

Tassaduq Hussain Jillani is a Pakistani judge who served as the 21st Chief Justice of Pakistan from 2013 to 2014. Dr Ishrat Hussain is a Pakistani banker and economist who served as the Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) suggested the names of former chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Zaka Ashraf and former foreign secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani for the post of caretaker prime minister.

The fifth meeting between the incumbent government of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and opposition in the National Assembly held on May 22 but concluded resultlessly.

The prime responsibility of the caretaker government is to ensure that the elections are held in a transparent manner and the basic machinery of the government continues without an elected setup in place.

ECP suggests July 25-27 as possible dates for elections 2018

The ruling party’s five-year term is going to end on May 31.