Amid the ongoing political crisis in Pakistan, embattled Pakistani leader Imran Khan on Monday nominated former chief justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed for the office of the caretaker prime minister
Amid the ongoing political crisis in Pakistan, embattled Pakistani leader Imran Khan on Monday nominated former chief justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed for the office of the caretaker prime minister.
Former information minister and senior leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party Fawad Chaudhry said that the premier made the decision after approval from the party’s core committee.
The announcement comes after President Arif Alvi sent letters to Prime Minister Khan and Leader of the Opposition Shehbaz Sharif on Monday seeking suggestions for the appointment of a caretaker prime minister.
“In response to the President’s letter, after consultation and approval by the PTI Core Committee, Prime Minister Imran Khan has nominated Pakistan’s former chief justice Gulzar Ahmed for the post of caretaker Prime Minister,” Chaudhry said.
In his letter, President Alvi told them in case they do not agree on the appointment within three days of the dissolution of the Parliament, they shall forward two nominees each to a committee to be constituted by the Speaker, comprising eight members of the outgoing assembly, or the Senate, or both, having equal representation from the treasury and the opposition.
Let’s find out more about the former chief justice who could become the caretaker PM of Pakistan:
Who is Gulzar Ahmed
Starting his legal career as an advocate in 1986, Gulzar Ahmed went on to join the Sindh High Court Bar Association in April 1988.
In September 2001, Ahmed joined the Supreme Court Bar Association, before becoming a justice of Sindh High Court.
He was appointed a justice in the Supreme Court of Pakistan in November, 2011.
Ahmed was sworn in as the 27th Chief Justice of Pakistan on 21 December, 2019.
According to Dawn, during his legal career, Ahmed mostly dealt with civil-corporate law, serving as the legal advisor to numerous multinational and local companies, banks and financial institutions.
Justice Ahmed’s important verdicts
Justice Ahmed was part of the five-judge bench of the Supreme Court that disqualified former premier Nawaz Sharif in the Panama Papers case.
He came into the limelight for the first time for writing a dissenting note in the Panama Papers case verdict. He was one of the two dissenting justices on the bench who were of the opinion that Sharif had not been honest to the nation and should be disqualified from office.
During his legal career, Ahmed was known for his strong verdicts and comments against governments and bureaucrats.
In December 2019, ahead of becoming the chief justice, Ahmed directed the chairman of Capital Development Authority (CDA) to launch a criminal investigation against officials suspected of being involved in misconduct pertaining to encroachments by Centaurus Mall.
During the hearing, Ahmed lashed out at authorities for “ruining Islamabad” and regretted that the construction of high-rise buildings had been approved on directions by politicians, Dawn reported.
According to a report by Dawn, in February 2021, CJP Ahmed said in an order that Supreme Court Justice Qazi Faez Isa “should not hear matters involving the prime minister» on a petition pertaining to allegations that the premier distributed development funds among lawmakers.
Ahmed said that Justice Isa had already filed a petition against the prime minister in his personal capacity against the proposed plan to distribute Rs500 million development fund each among PTI lawmakers.
The Supreme Court order said that in order to uphold the principle of impartiality, Justice Isa should not hear cases involving the prime minister.
Ahmed’s role as caretaker PM
As the title suggests, a caretaker prime minister is someone who runs the government on a temporary basis until the Prime Minister is chosen through the democratic process of election.
Caretaker PM in Pakistan heads the government after the dissolution of the National Assembly to ensure free and fair elections.
According to the Constitution of Pakistan, the President shall appoint a Caretaker Government with the consultation of the Prime Minister and Leader of Opposition post the dissolution of the National Assembly.
Both the parties must reach a consensus on whom to choose as caretaker Prime Minister.
If the consensus is not reached, the President is free to choose a caretaker Prime Minister in consultation with the Election Commission of Pakistan.
With inputs from agencies