President seeks name of suitable candidate for caretaker PM by midnight today

Shehbaz says name of caretaker PM to be finalised today after taking into confidence coalition partners

ISLAMABAD   -  Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Friday expressed confidence that the name of the caretaker Prime Minister will be finalised by Saturday (today).

While talking to reporters in Islam­abad, he said coalition partners will be taken into confidence over the matter before taking a final decision.

To a question, the prime minister said the past 16 months in the gov­ernment were the toughest days of his political career as the previous regime had ruined everything, in­cluding the economy and diplomatic relations of the country.

He said with the blessing of Allah Almighty and the coop­eration of the coalition partners, the government remained successful in averting default, restoring Pakistan’s relations with the brotherly and friendly countries, including China, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, Turkiye, and Iran. The prime minister said we have established Spe­cial Investment Facilitation Council with the aim to put the country on the path of sustainable development and pros­perity. He said SIFC will be a harbinger of the economic de­velopment of the country.

Journalists also thanked the prime minister and his team for getting passed, ‘The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulato­ry Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2023’ from both Houses of the Parliament. They said the bill has linked government ad­vertisements with the salaries of the media workers, which is a great and commendable step toward protecting journal­ists’ rights. They further appreciated the role of former Min­ister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurang­zeb for the welfare of the journalist community. 

On the other hand, President Dr Arif Alvi Friday asked the Prime Minister and Leader of Opposition in the outgoing Na­tional Assembly to propose a suitable person for appoint­ment of Care-taker Prime Minister not later than August 12, 2023. In a letter to the prime minister and the opposition leader, President Alvi said under Article 224A of Constitu­tion, Prime Minister and Leader of Opposition in the outgo­ing National Assembly were required to propose name of a person for appointment of care-taker prime minister within three days of dissolution of National Assembly. 

“Under proviso to Article 224 (1A) of the Constitution, the president appoints care-taker prime minister in consulta­tion with Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition in the outgoing National Assembly”, he added. He said the prime minister advised him on August 9 for dissolving National Assembly under Article 58 (1) of the Constitution which he approved and dissolved the assembly on same day. 

“As provided in Article 224 (1A) of Constitution of Paki­stan, Prime Minister and leader of Opposition in the outgo­ing National Assembly may propose a suitable person for appointment of caretaker prime minister not later than Au­gust 12, 2023,” the president added.

PM PAYS TRIBUTE TO MINORITIES 

Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Friday paid tributes to the minorities for their contribution in na­tion-building and socio-economic development of the coun­try. “On the National Day of Minorities, I join the nation in paying rich tributes to our non-Muslim citizens for their valuable contributions in nation-building and assure them of the government’s consistent and unwavering commit­ment to protecting their rights,” the prime minister said in a message in connection with the Day.

He said today the nation celebrated the role and contri­butions of the non-Muslim citizens for peace, progress and prosperity of Pakistan on the National Day of Minorities. 

“Our minority communities are part and parcel of the Pa­kistani nationalism. From the freedom struggle to this day, they have contributed meaningfully to building the country. From defence to education to health to social service, there is no walk of life where our non-Muslim brothers and sisters have not played their role in the socio-economic develop­ment of the country,” he added. 

The Day, he said also drew the attention to Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s historic speech at the floor of the legislative assembly where he laid down the rules of engage­ment for the citizens with the newly created state of Paki­stan. “The very idea of Pakistan is incomplete without our non-Muslim citizens. The ‘white’ colour of our flag symbol­izes their place in the body politic of Pakistan,” he added. 

PM Shehbaz said from Jogendranath Mandal, Pakistan’s first law minister to Dr. Maira Phailbus to Dr Ruth Pfau to Justice Dorab Patel, the list of our Pakistani non-Muslim personalities of eminence was long whose contributions to public service continued to be celebrated. 

He said interfaith harmony was a marked feature of the national identity. Pakistan is a strong advocate of pluralism, and diversity. “Our Constitution guarantees the provision of social, political, religious and economic rights to all citi­zens without any discrimination of caste, creed and colour,” he said adding “I am happy to state that the empowerment of our minority communities has taken the center-stage of public policy, as successive governments have allocated re­sources and implemented policies aimed at their main­streaming and empowerment”. The prime minister urged all segments of society to forge unity in their ranks. 

He said nothing was more powerful than the spirit of to­getherness in a nation, for it powered its imagination and strengthened its resolve to overcome the odds. 

“‘Unity, faith and discipline’, the Quaid’s motto, shows us the way forward to navigate the challenges.” he added.

“Tamgha-i-Imtiaz” for doctors, health workers 

Prime Minister on Friday decided to award “Tamgha-i-Im­tiaz” (posthumously) to the martyred doctors and health workers who provided medical treatment and care to the patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was decided that Tamgha-i-Imtiaz (posthumously) would be awarded to 81 doctors from Punjab, 87 from Sindh, 23 from Khyber Pa­khtunkhwa, 8 from Balochistan, 4 from Azad Jammu and Kahsmir, and one each from Gilgit Baltistan and Islamabad. 

Likewise 59 nurses and frontline health workers from across Pakistan would also be honored with Tamgha-i-Im­tiaz (posthumously) for their services and saving lives of people without caring about their lives during the Corona pandemic. The prime minister acknowledged and paid trib­ute to doctors and front line health workers from across the country who served fearlessly during COVID-19 pandemic. “These sons and daughters of the country embraced mar­tyrdom from this deadly pandemic while fulfilling their re­sponsibilities,” the prime minister said. He said the whole nation would remain indebted to these dutiful doctors and front line health workers. He also paid tributes to the family members of the martyred doctors and health workers say­ing that those were pride of the nation.