LAHORE -UNS – Senior analyst Dr Hasan Askari Rizvi on Friday was sworn in as caretaker chief minister of Punjab in a ceremony held at Governor House Lahore.
Punjab Governor Rafique Rajwana administered the oath to Rizvi in front of a select audience in which outgoing chief minister Murad Ali Shah was also present.
Contrary to tradition, outgoing Punjab CM Shehbaz Sharif did not attended the ceremony due to illness. No other PML-N leader was also present in the event.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz had raised objections over the appointment of Askari as caretaker CM. Holding presser in the federal capital, former premier Shahid Khaqqan Abbasi apprised attendants that Ayaz Amir and Hassan Askari were Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) nominees for the caretaker Punjab CM. “Opinion of both [Amir and Askari] can be read on newspapers. The matter of appointment of caretaker Punjab CM will make whole electoral process doubtful”, claimed Abbasi while asserting at the same time that a neutral caretaker set up was mandatory to ensure transparent elections.
Abbasi went on to say that appointment of Askari as caretaker Punjab CM was a matter of ill fortune.
The protestation was however; thoroughly turned down by ECP who had announced the appointment. ECP also rejected PML-N’s demand to review the appointment of Hassan Askari.
Inside-aware further revealed that ECP makes decision purely on merit and does not take dictation from anyone. While expressing exasperation over PML-N’s objections, officials of elections watchdog urged politicians not to lambaste department unnecessarily.
The officials went on to say that ECP had made decision after political outfits failed to reach on consensus pertaining to appointments of caretaker chief ministers.