Sources in the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) confirmed to The Nation that Ch Nisar Ali Khan was busy in some party matters in Lahore and for that matter the reply to the Prime Minister's letter was deferred till next week.
Sources aware of the developments on this front said that technically Ch. Nisar Ali Khan has conveyed the proposed names of opposition parties for caretaker prime minister to the Government and informally the negative response of government on one of these names had also come from non other than the Federal Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira who had termed the inclusion of Rasool Bux Palejo in the opposition's list as a 'joke.'
Sources in the PML-N further said that Leader of Opposition Ch. Nisar Ali Khan was deliberately delaying the reply to the Prime Minsiter's letter with the aim to assess the response of the ruling coalition on the names he has presented for the slot of caretaker PM.
Constitutional and legal experts said that though there was no restriction on the number of names to be presented either by Leader of Opposition and Prime Minister for consultation with each other, but in case of their failure to evolve consensus on any single name then under Article 224A both of them are required to forward two names each to eight members committee having equal representation from treasury and opposition from both the houses.
So in case of disagreement Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Ch. Nisar Ali Khan has to further short-list the list of three candidates on which he had held consultation with all the opposition parties including even those parties which are not part of the Parliament. The three names finalised by joint opposition included Justice (retd) Shakirullah Jan, Justice (retd) Nasir Aslam Zahid and Sindhi nationalist leader Rasool Bux Palejo.
In another development Leader of Opposition has approached Pakistan Tehreek-I-Insaf leader Dr. Arif Alvi through Jamaat-I-Islami Niab Amir Liaquat Baloch and the PTI leadership has also approved the three names finalised by the opposition.
Constitutional experts further said that in case Leader of Opposition and Prime Minister would fail to evolve consensus on any one candidate proposed by both sides within three days time starting from the day of dissolution of the National Assembly then the matter would go to the eight members Parliamentary Committee constituted by Speaker National Assembly for which two names each would be forwarded by Leader of House and Leader of Opposition of both houses of the Parliament.
The committee would again have three days time to have consensus or decide with majority vote on any of the four names proposed for the slot by Prime Minister and Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly. And in case of failure the matter would automatically go to Chief Election Commissioner who would pick any of the four names within two days and announce him as caretaker prime minister.
Sources in Pakistan People's Party said that so far the party leadership had not done any consultation on the names for the caretaker prime minister and if some names were under consideration these were just within the inner core of the President Asif Ali Zardari.
Sources further said that some of the names, which came from the PPP camp, included former Pakistan Ambassador to UN Hussain Haroon, former Pakistan Ambassador to US Dr. Maleeha Lodhi and former governor State Bank of Pakistan Dr. Ishrat Hussain.
Sources further said that the PPP leadership would first of all review the names to be presented by the opposition and if they would not find any one suitable among these names then they would came up with their names and then would try to convince the opposition to pick any of the two names proposed by the Prime Minister.