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PTI, PML-Q select nominees for caretaker Punjab CM

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The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and PML-Q on Sunday finalised three consensus candidates as their nominees to be discussed with the opposition leader in the erstwhile Punjab Assembly for the appointment of a caretaker chief minister in the province.

The nominees included Cabinet Secretary Ahmad Nawaz Sukhera, former health minister Naseer Khan and former chief secretary Nasir Saeed Khosa.

The inclusion of Mr Sukhera in the panel has surprised many since he is still in service and has a couple of weeks to go till his retirement. He had earlier featured in the panel of candidates for the selection of Punjab chief secretary, but he withdrew his name on the plea that he would be retiring soon.Mr Khan belongs to Narowal and has served as the federal health minister as well as a former WHO head (health). Mr Khosa is a former bureaucrat and has served as the Punjab chief secretary.

These candidates were announced by Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi after consultation with PTI Chairman Imran Khan at his Zaman Park residence late on Sunday evening.

Punjab Governor Balighur Rehman has already written separate letters to CM Elahi and outgoing opposition leader in the Punjab Assembly Hamza Shehbaz to mutually decide a candidate to propose for appointment as the caretaker CM within three days. Both the leaders have till Tuesday evening to discuss and decide a name.

Answering a question, Mr Elahi said he was not supposed to contact Hamza, adding he would send his three nominees to the governor. Calling the finalised candidates non-controversial, he added: “If the PML-N considers these three names sanely, I see a consensus developing on one of them.”

Answering another question about the prospects of the PML-Q’s merger into the PTI, Mr Elahi was more candid in his response than earlier in the day, saying his son Moonis also wanted both the parties to merge and go ahead in politics with a consensus. “Any such merger will strengthen the party,” Mr Elahi maintained.

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