PPP names Zaka Ashraf, Jalil Abbas Jilani as caretaker PM



KARACHI, May 21 (TNS): The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) on Monday finalised names of former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Zaka Ashraf and former foreign secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani for the post of caretaker prime minister, local media reported.

According to reports, Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Khursheed Shah has forwarded the names to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari telephoned both Ashraf and Jilani to inform them about the party’s decision.

Zakar Ashraf has also worked as an adviser to the Sindh chief minister from 1988-1990.

Jilani has a Foreign Service background as he has served as P,akistani ambassador to the United States and as foreign secretary of the country.

Meanwhile, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari chaired a high-level meeting at the Zardari House in Islamabad on Monday.

The senior leadership of the party, including Qamar Zaman Kaira, Sherry Rehman and Khursheed Shah, attended the meeting.

During the meeting, the leadership discussed issues related to the caretaker setup, which will take over when the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) ends its tenure on May 31, along with party preparations for 2018 general elections.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), on other hand, rejected the PPP nominees.

Addressing a press conference, PTI spokesman Fawad Chaudhry said that Zaka Ashraf’s name for the post is “unacceptable” whereas the party has “reservations” over Jalil Abbas Jilani.

Dismissing the possibility of forming an alliance with any party in the upcoming elections, Fawad said, “We have clarified time and again that PTI will contest the elections as a single party.”

“Rumours have been abuzz that PTI is forming an alliance with PML-Q but we would like to reiterate that we will not be forming an alliance with any party.”

He criticised the deposed prime minister for responding to only 58 of the 128 questions to which the accountability court has solicited a response in the Avenfield Properties reference.