LAHORE - National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq yesterday said there was no provision in the constitution for a national government to govern the country as an interim arrangement. 

Talking to media in his constituency, he said no political party will accept such an arrangement as an alternative to general elections.

He was answering a question about the rumors regarding formation of a national government in the days to come.  When asked to comment on PTI chief Imran Khan’s objection to Shahid Khaqan Abbasi calling Nawaz Sharif as the prime minister, Ayaz said he himself could not reconcile himself with the fact that Nawaz Sharif was no more a prime minister. “In my sub-conscious, I still call him the prime minister.” He said he also had reservations about the SC verdict though it had been implemented. 

To a question, he said it was a party decision to install Abbasi as prime minister and to retain Shehbaz Sharif in Punjab as the chief minister. He said Mr Abbasi was initially reluctant to become the prime minister but later agreed to take this responsibility after insistence by the party leadership.

Answering a question about the possibility of Nawaz Sharif assuming responsibilities as the party head in the wake of latest legislation, Ayaz said Sharif was leading the party even now. “Nawaz is still our leader and Shehbaz comes after him. The leadership will decide who should head the party,” he averred, adding that Nawaz would soon be returning home to face the cases after recovery of his spouse Begum Kalsoom Nawaz.

He said Ishaq Dar was also returning to dash the hopes of many in Pakistan.

To a question about former interior minister Ch Nisar Ali Khan, the NA speaker said, “Ch Nisar is a senior PML-N leader and he will not leave the party. He has personally conveyed to me that he regarded Nawaz as his leader. He also stood by Nawaz Sharif after announcement of Panama verdict”. 

Commenting on the appearance of Daesh banners in Islamabad, he said it was a serious matter needing immediate investigation.

To another query, he said if Pervez Musharraf knew about Asif Zardari’s involvement in the murder of Benazir Bhutto he should have revealed the information when he was in power.  He said people were talking about ‘minus one and minus two’ to keep a balance. He, however, did not elaborate.